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Musk's Neuralink Shows First Brain-chip Patient Plays Online Chess

Written by : Nikita Saha

April 25, 2024

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A nine-minute live stream on X shows Noland Arbaugh using his mind to move the cursor & then playing chess online.

In a breakthrough, Elon Musk's brain-chip company Neuralink has shown its first patient with a brain-chip implant moving a cursor on a computer. He further used his mind to play chess.

A nine-minute live stream on X, formerly Twitter, shows Noland Arbaugh, the 29-year-old patient, using his mind to move the cursor & then playing chess online.

Arbaugh, who was paralyzed below the shoulder after a diving accident, received the chip implant in January. The implant seeks to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts.

Earlier, In February, we reported that the patient was able to move a computer mouse cursor using his thoughts alone.

According to Musk, the patient successfully regained the ability to control a computer mouse cursor solely through thoughts.

The company's goal is to connect human brains to computers to help tackle complex neurological conditions, the tech billionaire noted.

Talking about the chip implant, Arbaugh said that he had used the brain implant to play the video game Civilization VI.

"The surgery was super easy. Neuralink gave me the ability to do that again and played for eight hours straight,’’ the first brain-chip patient added.

However, Arbaugh said the new technology was not perfect and they "have run into some issues."

What is Neuralink?

Neuralink is a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, focused on developing brain-chip implants that act as a bridge between human thoughts and the digital world.

The small computer chip, known as Telepathy, is implanted in the human brain, allowing individuals to control electronic devices, such as phones or computers, through their thoughts.

The initial target audience for Neuralink's brain-chip implants includes individuals who have lost the use of their limbs. The technology aims to provide a means for these users to interact with digital devices and complete tasks using their thoughts.

The company has also run trials on pigs and claimed that monkeys can play a basic version of the video game Pong.

The founder and CEO, Elon Musk proposed Neuralink's use in facilitating swift surgical insertions of its chip devices to address conditions such as obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia.

In May, Neuralink gained FDA clearance for its first-in-human clinical trial, even as it faced federal scrutiny for its handling of animal testing.

Latest Brain Implant Developments

Talking about brain implants, several other companies work on similar technologies. For instance, Paradromics Inc., another American neurotechnology company, is also developing an electronic brain implant that would allow the mind to communicate directly with a computer.

Other competitors include Kernel, a $100 million project launched by Braintree founder Bryan Johnson; and the US government's DARPA, which has devoted $65 million to its effort.

Additionally, companies such as BrainCo, Emotiv, MindMaze, NeuroSky, NeuroPro, and Neurable are also working on similar technologies.

Days back, Synchron Inc., a competitor to Elon Musk's Neuralink brain implant startup, announced the launch of a large-scale clinical trial for its brain implant device, aiming to secure commercial approval.

The company's CEO, Thomas Oxley, revealed plans to recruit participants for the trial and has garnered interest from numerous clinical trial centers to facilitate the study.


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