Neuralink streams first patient using brain chip to play online chess.

On Wednesday, Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup, Neuralink, made history by livestreaming its first patient using a chip to play online chess using his mind.

The patient, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, became paralyzed below the shoulder after a diving accident. Using the Neuralink device, Arbaugh controlled a computer cursor to play chess on his laptop, marking a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to enable individuals to interact with technology solely through their thoughts.

Arbaugh had undergone implantation of the Neuralink device in January, allowing him to control a computer mouse with his thoughts, as disclosed by Musk the previous month.

In the streamed video on Musk’s social media platform X, Arbaugh expressed his satisfaction with the surgery, describing it as “super easy” and mentioning his swift release from the hospital with no cognitive impairments.

Expressing his gratitude, Arbaugh mentioned his renewed ability to engage in activities like playing Civilization VI for hours, thanks to Neuralink’s technology.

However, Arbaugh acknowledged that the technology is not flawless, admitting they have encountered some issues along the way. Despite this, he emphasized the life-changing impact of the technology and acknowledged that there’s still much progress to be made.

Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineering at the US National Institutes of Health, downplayed the significance of Neuralink’s demonstration, stating that it did not constitute a “breakthrough.”