Neuralink Posts Video Of First Human Patient Using Brain Chip To Play Chess With His Mind

“Basically, it was like using the Force on the cursor, and I could get it to move wherever I wanted"
The Neuralink logo is displayed on a smartphone with Neuralink visible in the background in this photo illustration in Brussels, Belgium, on January 30, 2024.
Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Neuralink, the company co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, showed video Wednesday of its first quadriplegic patient with a brain chip implant playing chess with his mind.

The video, which was uploaded as a livestream to X by a Neuralink engineer, shows 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh sitting in front of a computer screen playing chess while discussing the new technology. Asked by the engineer to explain what he was doing, Arbaugh said he was moving the cursor on his computer with only his thoughts as he used the cursor to move chess pieces on the board.

“It’s all being done with my brain. If y’all can see the cursor moving around the screen, that’s all me, y’all,” he said.

Arbaugh, an Arizona man and former Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, was paralyzed below his shoulders after a “freak diving accident” while he was working as a camp counselor eight years ago, The Daily Mail reported. Neuralink announced in January that it had successfully implanted a brain chip into Arbaugh, the company’s first human subject.

Neuralink’s implant, a “brain-computer interface” technology, is roughly the size of a quarter and sends out brain signal data to a Neuralink app, which decodes the data into actions, according to Bloomberg.

Arbaugh said on the Neuralink livestream that after being implanted with the brain chip and practicing, “it became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving.”

“Basically, it was like using the Force on the cursor, and I could get it to move wherever I wanted,” Arbaugh said. “Just stare somewhere in the screen and it would move where I wanted it to, which was such a wild experience.”


Musk responded to the Neuralink video on X, writing, “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.”


Neuralink started its trials on monkeys and showed the animals using the device to play the game “Pong” on computers. The company hopes the breakthrough brain technology will help people who are paralyzed or suffer from vision or hearing loss. Eventually, Musk hopes Neuralink will help humans work together with ever-evolving artificial intelligence (AI).

After the FDA gave Neuralink the green light to begin clinical trials on humans last year and the company started recruiting test subjects, Musk wrote, “The first human patient will soon receive a Neuralink device. This ultimately has the potential to restore full body movement.”

“In the long term, Neuralink hopes to play a role in AI … civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude,” Musk continued. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking had had this.”

Arbaugh said that while the technology isn’t perfect and there is still work to be done, the Neuralink brain chip has “already changed my life.” He also said the roughly 30-minute surgery to implant the device “was super easy.”

“I literally was released from the hospital a day later. I have no cognitive impairments,” he added. “I just want to thank Neuralink for doing this, for working hard every day to make this a reality. I think that they are going to change the world.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Neuralink Posts Video Of First Human Patient Using Brain Chip To Play Chess With His Mind