Elon Musk’s brain chip company shows a person moving a cursor with their mind

Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that is researching ways to let people control electronic devices with their minds, presented the first hands-on demonstration of one of its developments this Wednesday. He did so in a live video via X (formerly Twitter, also owned by Musk), in which he showed a volunteer moving a computer cursor through a company-developed chip implanted in his brain in January.

The man identified himself as Noland Arbaugh and is the first subject to receive one of these chips. He is 29 years old and has been paralyzed from the shoulders down for eight years due to a diving accident. In the demonstration, which consisted of a 9-minute video, Arbaugh explains that it can move pieces in a digital chess game or play a video game. civilization Thanks to the Neuralink device implanted in his brain.

“I just can’t describe how cool it is to do this,” the young man says in the video: “If you see the cursor moving on the screen, that’s me.”

“The operation was very simple. “I was literally released from the hospital a day later,” he said. The implant is inserted into the subject’s head via a surgical robot developed by the company itself and will be inoperable once it’s in place, suggests Neuralink, which claims the subjects have no other cognitive impairment.

In the publication published on the same social network, Elon Musk called the system “telepathy”. “You can control a computer and play video games just by thinking,” he posted on a live stream in which Neuralink demonstrated Arbaugh’s progress. The tycoon founded the company in 2016 and has since championed its potential to create a “brain-machine interface” that allows devices to recognize and respond to brain signals.

The company has been regularly criticized by scientists and animal rights activists over the years. The first attacked him for a lack of transparency, not publicizing the results of his work during these years, as well as for “selling smoke”: “Neuralink allocates money only for implants, which, in reality, will never be used by the average. The patient. “Disabled if there are no structural changes in our healthcare systems,” criticizes neuroscientist James Wu. In another Twitter post which went extremely viral.

Animal groups and associations have condemned the company for years for testing monkeys that caused them “extreme suffering”. Published by Neuralink in 2021 video A monkey playing pong through a chip implanted in his head. investigation Wired Last year, it was revealed that some of the monkeys that were tested died during the process.

During the video, Arbaugh admits that it took him a long time to learn how to control the interface, which is supposed to read his brain’s commands and transmit them to the computer. Therefore, he cautions that what is shown is only a “first step.” “I don’t want people to think this is the end of the journey. “There’s a lot of work to be done,” he said during the show, “but it’s already changed my life.”

Control brain technology

Neuralink isn’t the first or only project to make this kind of breakthrough. Various studies have shown that brain-machine interfaces allow for more efficient communication and even precise control of external devices. In addition, they are used in medical fields to help people with physical disabilities, as well as in neuroprosthetics and rehabilitation. There is also growing interest in commercial applications such as video game control and cognitive performance enhancement, along with their integration into virtual and augmented reality environments.

In order to control and monitor this type of technology, the government announced in 2021 its intention to promote the development of a national neurotechnology center to investigate this type of development. The institution, also known as Spain Neurotech, will have Madrid as its headquarters and the support of experts such as Rafael Juste, one of the world’s most prestigious neuroscientists.


Source: El Diario

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