Neuralink Livestreams Paralyzed Patient Playing Video Games With His Mind

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Screenshot: X/Neuralink

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s neuroscience startup, live-streamed an interview with its first patient on Wednesday. The man in question, a 29-year-old quadriplegic who identifies himself as Noland Arbaugh, said that he has been unable to move his arms or legs for nearly a decade. Using Neuralink’s brain implant, which was inserted in January, the man now seems to be able to play chess as well as the game Civilization by using his mind. The interview, in which Nolan is seen playing the games, was streamed to Musk’s social media platform, X.

“About eight years ago I was in kinda a freak diving accident and dislocated my C4-C5, so I’m a complete quadriplegic,” the man says during the video. The C4-C5 is a section of the spinal cord. Noland’s ability to play video games has been seriously improved by Neuralink’s chip, he says. “I love playing chess and this is one of the things that ya’ll have enabled me to do,” said Arbaugh. The camera pans down to show a computer screen featuring a digital chess board, and a cursor moving across the board. Noland compared learning to use the cursor with his mind to “learning to use the Force” from Star Wars.

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Neuralink completed its first implantation of its brain chip in January. The company previously stated that the operation was designed to trial the safety and effectiveness of the implant as well as the medical procedure that installs it.

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In the weeks after the procedure, Musk stated that the patient was recovering and could move a computer mouse with his thoughts.

Neuralink has suffered from criticism in the past. It was previously criticized for some of its experiments on animals, which served as a precursor to its human experimentation. A lawsuit filed by an animal rights group previously accused the company of torturing its subjects.

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