Neuralink unveils first brain implant patient controlling a PC with their thoughts

Elon Musk's brain chip company Neuralink has unveiled the first patient who received the implant and how he can control a PC with his thoughts.

1 minute & 26 seconds read time

It was only earlier this year that Elon Musk announced his brain chip company Neuralink had implanted the first brain chip into a human patient.

Neuralink has since taken to social media platform X to share an update with the first patient, a 29-year-old man named Nolan Arbaugh, who said he was unfortunately paralyzed from the neck down following a tragic diving accident eight years ago. The livestream on the Neuralink X account featured Arbaugh explaining the surgery for the implant was "super easy" and that he had to go through a learning process to differentiate "imagined movement versus attempted movement" in order to control a cursor on a PC.

The video shows Arbaugh using the brain-computer interface (BCI) to move a cursor around on the screen of a laptop, with the patient even saying that he was able to play Civilization IV for up to 8 hours and the only thing stopping him from playing more was the BCI running out of battery requiring a recharge. The livestream shows Arbaugh playing chess and then pausing an on-screen music player. Notably, not everything with the BCI is perfect, as Arbaugh says he has encountered some issues. However, Arbaugh said it "has already changed my life".

"A lot of what we started out with was attempting to move," Arbaugh said. "I would attempt to move, say, my right hand left, right forward, back. And from there, I think it just became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving."

"It's not perfect, I would say that we have run into some issues," he said. "I don't want people to think that this is the end of the journey. There's a lot of work to be done, but it has already changed my life."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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