Neuralink’s First Human Subject Plays Chess Using Thoughts

A paralyzed patient played chess and controlled music on his laptop via Neuralink’s brain implant in a livestream on X

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

March 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Neuralink's brain implant
Neuralink's brain implantNeuralink

Neuralink’s first human patient to receive a brain implant has showcased its capabilities this week.

In a livestream on X, formerly known as Twitter, 29-year-old quadriplegic Noland Arbaugh showed himself controlling his laptop cursor with his mind, playing chess and controlling music. 

“If y’all can see the cursor moving around the screen, that’s all me,” he said during the livestream. “It's pretty cool, huh?”

“We started out with a lot of attempted movement. So I would attempt to move, say, my right hand…and from there it became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving, almost like using the force to move it where I wanted it to.”

View post on X

Arbaugh did note that there was still “a lot of work to be done” but that the chip had already changed his life.

“I feel like it’s going to change the world,” he said. 

Commenting below the post, Neuralink CEO Elon Musk said that in the long-term it would be possible to use the chip to help paralyzed patients walk again.

“Long-term, it is possible to shunt the signals from the brain motor cortex past the damaged part of the spine to enable people to walk again and use their arms normally,” he wrote.

This latest update marks the first public demonstration of the patient’s progression.

Neuralink received FDA approval to begin human trials last June and began recruiting patients in September. Musk announced in January that the first human patient had received a brain implant, and in February the patient was said to be able to control a computer mouse using only their thoughts. 

Related:Neuralink Claims First Human Patient Can Control Mouse with Thoughts

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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