Here’s a video of the first human Neuralink patient controlling a computer with his thoughts

Earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that the first human patient had received Neuralink brain implant as part of the company’s first clinical trials. Now, the company has shared a short public demo of its brain-computer interface (BCI) in action.

The company briefly went live demo at the X with Nolan Arbaugh, 29, who said he was paralyzed from the neck down after a diving accident eight years ago. In the video, Arbaugh explains that after receiving the implant — which he said was “very easy” to operate — he had to learn to distinguish between “imaginary movement and attempted movement” in order to learn to control the cursor on the screen.

“A lot of what we started was trying to move,” Arbaugh said. “For example, I would try to move my right hand left, right, forward, backward. And from there, I think it was intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving.”

In the clip, which also features a Neuralink engineer, Arbaugh demonstrates BCI by moving a cursor around a laptop screen and pausing an on-screen music player. He said that the implant allowed him to play chess Civilization VI. He noted that he previously used other assistive devices, such as mouth sticks, but that the Neuralink implant allowed for longer gaming sessions as well as online play. He said he can use the implant for about eight hours before it needs to be recharged (it’s not clear how the recharge works).

Arbaugh became the first human patient to receive the implant in January after Neuralink began recruiting patients last year. The company has previously tested BCI on animals, including chimpanzees, and has been the subject of some of its animal tests. .

In the video, Arbaugh said that despite some initial problems, his experience with the brain implant has been positive so far. “It’s not perfect, I’d say we’ve had some issues,” he said. “I don’t want people to think this is the end of the journey. There is a lot of work to be done, but it has already changed my life.”

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