Neuralink’s First Brain Chip Patient Controls PC With Thoughts


Neuralink has showcased its first patient, Noland Arbaugh, controlling a computer cursor with his thoughts, marking a significant advancement in brain implant technology. Arbaugh, who suffered quadriplegia from an accident eight years ago, demonstrates seamless cursor movement solely through neural signals facilitated by Neuralink’s implant.

The implant, known as N1, comprises 1024 electrodes distributed across 64 threads that penetrate the user’s brain. This coin-sized device, installed by a surgical robot, wirelessly communicates with a smartphone app and features a small battery charged through the skin.

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— Neuralink (@neuralink) March 20, 2024

Arbaugh claims to have experienced life-changing benefits, including reading, language learning, and gaming, for up to 8 hours before requiring a recharge. While the video presentation portrays promising results, experts caution against overstating the breakthrough, highlighting the need for more comprehensive data from Neuralink to assess its significance accurately.

Neuralink faces competition from numerous academic and commercial entities exploring brain-computer interface technology. Stanford University, for instance, successfully interpreted brain signals from a paralyzed individual to generate readable text on a computer screen.

Despite the progress showcased, commercial availability of Neuralink’s technology remains distant, pending rigorous testing and accreditation — However, Elon Musk has expressed intentions to commercialize the technology, with plans for a product named Telepathy enabling users to control devices through brain implants.

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