In a startling demonstration, Elon Musk’s company Neuralink has new images shown of a paralyzed man who plays computer games using only his thoughts.

Noland Arbaugh, 29 years old and paralyzed after an accident, is seen controlling a computer cursor and playing games such as chess and Civilization VI, all with the help of an advanced brain implant.

Experience described as ‘extraordinary’

Arbaugh, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident eight years ago, describes the experience as extraordinary. “It feels like I’m using force on a cursor. I look at a point on the screen and it moves where I want it to go,” he enthused. The impact of the technology on his daily life is significant, especially after an operation that went surprisingly smoothly and from which he recovered just one day after implantation.

The technology developed by Neuralink, called Telepathy, aims to enable people with severe injuries or paralysis to communicate with phones or computers simply by thinking. Musk, the visionary entrepreneur behind Neuralink, speculates about the technology’s potential to allow individuals like Stephen Hawking to communicate faster than ever thought possible.

The Neuralink device, also known as a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), functions by using “ultra-fine and flexible wires” that are implanted in the brain to detect and translate movement intentions into digital commands. This revolutionary development became possible after approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2023, after which Neuralink began accepting clinical trial applications in September 2023.

However, Arbaugh emphasizes that there is still much work to be done to refine the technology and calls on others with neurological conditions to participate in the ongoing clinical trials. “This is not the end of our journey,” he said, “there is so much more we can do.”

This milestone in science and technology opens new doors to the future of human-machine interaction and offers hope for millions of people worldwide who face limitations in their ability to communicate.


Leave a Reply