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In a first, brain-chip patient plays online chess

Musk hinted that Neuralink device may have the capability to restore vision

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"I HAD BASICALLY GIVEN UP PLAYING THAT GAME. YOU ALL (NEURALINK) GAVE ME THE ABILITY TO DO THAT AGAIN AND PLAYED FOR 8 HOURS STRAIGHT" "THE EXPERIENCE WAS NOT PERFECT AND THEY HAD RUN INTO SOME ISSUES"

NOLAND ARBAUGH, 29-year-old patient who played online chess using his mind

Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink livestream­ed on Wednesday its first patient implanted with a chip using his mind to play online chess.

Noland Arbaugh, the 29-year-old patient who was paralysed below the shoulder after a diving accident, played chess on his laptop and moved the cursor using the Neuralink device. The implant seeks to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts.

Arbaugh had received an implant from the company in

January and could control a computer mouse using his thoughts, Musk said last month.

In a post on X on Wednesday, Musk hinted that the device may have the capability to restore vision

“The surgery was super easy” Arbaugh said in the video streamed on Musk’s social media platform X, referring to the implant procedure. “I literally was released from the hospital a day later. I have no cognitive impairment­s. “I had basically given up playing that game," Arbaugh said, referring to the game Civilisati­on VI, "you all (Neuralink) gave me the ability to do that again and played for 8 hours straight.”

Elaboratin­g on his experience with the new technology, Arbaugh said that it was “not perfect” and they “had run into some issues.”

“I don't want people to think that this is the end of the journey, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but it has already changed my life,” he added.

Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineerin­g at the US National Institutes of Health, said what Neuralink showed was not a “breakthrou­gh.”

“It is still in the very early days post-implantati­on, and there is a lot of learning on both the Neuralink side and the subject's side to maximise the amount of informatio­n for control that can be achieved,” he added.

Even so, Ludwig said it was a positive developmen­t for the patient that they have been able to interface with a computer in a way they were not able to before the implant. "It's certainly a good starting point," he said. Last month, Reuters reported that the US Food and Drug Administra­tion inspectors found problems with record keeping and quality controls for animal experiment­s at Elon Musk's Neuralink, less than a month after the startup said it was cleared to test its brain implants in humans.

 ?? PHOTO: X/@NEURALINK ??
PHOTO: X/@NEURALINK

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