Elon Musk says the first human with Neuralink implant is now able to control a mouse with his mind

New Delhi | UPDATED: Feb 20, 2024 15:53 IST

In a significant development for Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface venture, Neuralink, the tech mogul has announced successful outcomes from the first human trial of the Neuralink brain chip implant. Musk revealed that the inaugural patient, who underwent the implant procedure last month, has made a remarkable recovery, now possessing the ability to manipulate a computer mouse solely through thought.

“Progress was good, and the patient had made a full recovery, with no adverse neural effects that we were aware of. The patient was able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking,” Musk disclosed during a Spaces event on the social media platform X, as reported by Reuters.

While lauding the initial triumph, Musk unveiled broader aspirations for Neuralink, emphasizing plans to facilitate more intricate interactions, such as controlling mouse buttons through the patient’s thoughts.

Earlier in January, Elon Musk had announced the successful implantation of a chip in Neuralink’s first human patient. This milestone was preceded by the approval for human trial recruitment obtained by the company in September, marking a significant advancement for the ambitious endeavor.

Although specifics regarding the patient remain undisclosed, Neuralink had previously stated its target demographic for recruitment, primarily individuals grappling with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Neuralink’s ongoing study involves the use of a robotic system to surgically implant a brain-computer interface device in a brain region responsible for movement intention. Initially, the company aims to empower individuals to maneuver a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts.

Founded by Elon Musk in 2016, Neuralink envisions a future where its brain-computer interface technology, known as “the Link,” enables seamless communication between the human brain and electronic devices. The Link, a coin-sized chip with ultra-thin wires, is designed to decode neural activity and translate it into actionable commands.

While Neuralink’s “Telepathy” product aims to facilitate mind-controlled operation of phones and computers, the company’s ambitions extend to restoring movement, sensory, and visual functions, as well as treating neurological disorders.

Despite its groundbreaking potential, Neuralink faces scrutiny regarding safety measures, with recent reports highlighting regulatory concerns surrounding hazardous material transportation. As the venture navigates regulatory and technological challenges, its progress promises transformative advancements in neurotechnology.

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