Innovative Brain Implant Enables Mind-Powered Gaming

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A quadriplegic man has successfully played online chess using only his thoughts, thanks to Elon Musk’s pioneering Neuralink brain chip. The device, which is surgically implanted into the brain, has allowed 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh to bypass his physical limitations and interact with a computer by mere mental commands.

During a live demonstration on March 20, viewers witnessed Arbaugh’s newfound ability to control a cursor on the screen, describing the sensation as akin to “using the force.” His engagement with games like chess and Civilization VI extended into the early hours of the morning, highlighting the device’s potential for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with severe mobility restrictions.

Arbaugh’s quick recovery from the implant surgery—leaving the hospital a day later—underscores the procedure’s simplicity. While acknowledging the technology’s nascent stage, he expressed a transformative change in his life and encouraged others with neurological challenges to participate in ongoing human trials.

Neuralink’s objective is to enable people with debilitating injuries or paralysis to operate digital devices with their minds. Musk envisions a future where communication can occur at unprecedented speeds, exceeding that of a professional typist.

The United States Food and Drug Administration greenlit Neuralink’s human clinical trials in May 2023, with the company opening applications in September. This innovative Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) consists of delicate threads implanted in brain areas responsible for movement intention, promising a new horizon of independence for those it serves.



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