Elon Musk’s Brain Chip: User posts on X by ’thinking’ after Neuralink implant

Billionaire Elon Musk said this is the 'first ever post made just by thinking', adding that this was achieved using the Neuralink Telepathy device

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
Updated24 Mar 2024, 10:42 AM IST
Elon Musk on March 20 said Neuralink had made history by livestreaming its inaugural demonstration of a patient using a brain chip to play online chess.
Elon Musk on March 20 said Neuralink had made history by livestreaming its inaugural demonstration of a patient using a brain chip to play online chess.(Reuters / Dado Ruvic)

An X user, who was part of Elon Musk's brain-chip start-up Neuralink's human trials has said that he posted on the social media site by "thinking".

"Twitter banned me because they thought I was a bot, @X and @elonmusk reinstated me because I am," wrote 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh.

Responding to Arbaugh, Musk confirmed, “First ever post made just by thinking, using the Neuralink Telepathy device!”

This comes days after Musk on March 20 said Neuralink had made history by livestreaming its inaugural demonstration of a patient using a brain chip to play online chess.

Notably, it was Arbaugh, who suffered paralysis below the shoulder due to a diving accident, who showcased this technology too.

Paralysed Patient Plays Online Chess with Mind

Using the Neuralink device, Arbaugh controlled his laptop cursor with his mind, manoeuvring through a game of chess. He underwent implantation in January 2024, allowing him to manipulate a computer mouse using his thoughts, Musk said.

The implant aims to empower individuals to manipulate a computer cursor or keyboard solely through their thoughts, Reuters reported. Describing the surgery, Arbaugh called it "super easy", adding that he was discharged from the hospital within a day. He reported no cognitive impairments post-surgery.

"The surgery was super easy. I literally was released from the hospital a day later. I have no cognitive impairments," Arbaugh said in the video streamed on Musk's social media platform X, referring to the implant procedure.

Also Read | Elon Musk defends ketamine use, says it is ‘beneficial’ for investors

Life-Changing Technology

Arbaugh expressed gratitude for the regained ability to play games, citing an uninterrupted 8-hour session of Civilization VI. Despite acknowledging imperfections and encountered issues, he emphasised the life-altering impact of the technology.

However, Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineering at the United States National Institutes of Health, tempered expectations, stating that Neuralink's demonstration wasn't a "breakthrough".

He highlighted the early stage of post-implantation and the learning curve for both Neuralink and patients to optimise control. However, Ludwig recognised the positive step forward in interfacing with computers.

Arbaugh too admitted the technology is "not perfect" and has ahd 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.

Reuters previously reported findings of FDA inspectors regarding record-keeping and quality control issues in animal experiments at Neuralink. This revelation emerged shortly after Neuralink announced clearance for human brain implant testing, with no response from the company regarding the FDA's inspection.

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First Published:24 Mar 2024, 10:42 AM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsElon Musk’s Brain Chip: User posts on X by ’thinking’ after Neuralink implant

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