A Neuralink video shows a patient using a brain implant to play chess on a laptop

Elon Musk has a brain-computer interface company Posted a video to show the first human patient using NeuraLing's brain implant to control a mouse cursor and play a game of chess.

The patient, identified as 29-year-old Noland Arbach, said he was paralyzed below the shoulders after being injured in a diving accident eight years ago. Arbach describes using the Neuralink implant Star Wars The right allows him to “stare somewhere on the screen” and move the cursor where he wants.

The video is the first time Neuralink has shared footage of a human using the brain implant, after Musk announced in January that the first trial participant was “recovering well” after being implanted with the technology. It comes three years after the company released a video showing monkeys controlling an on-screen cursor to play pong using the technology.

This type of control via a brain-computer interface is not entirely new; The Wall Street Journal Notes In 2004 a paralyzed man was able to move a cursor with the help of a brain-computer interface. But previous iterations of the technology couldn't transmit data wirelessly, like NeuraLink, and relied on wires protruding through the skin. It's also notable that Arbaugh was able to hold a conversation while moving the cursor, step by step WSJ.

“It's certainly a good starting point,” said Kip Ludwig, associate director of the Wisconsin Institute for Translational Neuroengineering. says Reuters. However, he denied that the demo represented a “turning point”. Other companies such as BlackRock and Synchron have also demonstrated how brain-computer interfaces can be used to control electronic devices in paralyzed patients, although Synchron's less-invasive approach cannot collect as much neurological data. WSJ. Paradynamics and Precision Neuroscience are working on brain implants to compete with Neuraling.

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Neuralink has been criticized for the way it conducted its trials, with critics pointing to a lack of transparency around elements such as the number of subjects or how its results were evaluated. Wired Notes. The company's previous tests on monkeys have also been controversial, including reports that the animals involved in the experiments had to be euthanized after complications including brain bleeding, “bloody diarrhea, partial paralysis and cerebral edema.”

Although Neuralink was initially launched as an assistive technology, Musk said he eventually wants it to be implanted in perfectly healthy people to improve their abilities. But it is still a long way off.

Arbach acknowledged that “there's still a lot of work to be done” and that the team has “run into some issues.” But she adds that the implant “has already changed my life.”

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