First Human With Musk Owned Neuralink Brain Chip Can Play Chess Despite Paralysis

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

OAN’s James Meyers
2:24 PM -Thursday, March 21, 2024

Elon Musk’s Neuralink company live-streamed its first ever implanted patient who now has a Neuralink brain microchip. The live video showed how the man had the ability to play chess, using only his mind.


Noland Arbaugh, a 29-year-old who is paralyzed from the shoulders down due to a horrific diving accident that occurred eight years ago, was able to join the live-stream alongside an engineer on X (Twitter) who guided online users in learning how the brain-computer interface technology works.

“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 while the livestream showed his cursor moving across an online chess game. “It’s pretty cool, huh?”

The chip reportedly contains 1,000 electrodes programmed to gather data about a person’s brain’s neural activity and movement intention. That data is then send data to a powerful Neuralink computer which helps decode and transform those thoughts into actions.

He became the first ever human subject when a robot surgeon plugged the implant into his brain back in January.

“It’s crazy, it really is. It’s so cool. I’m so friggin’ lucky to be a part of this,” he said. “Every day it seems like we’re learning new stuff and I just can’t describe how cool it is to be able to do this.”

Previously, Arbuagh would require another person’s help to play online chess.

“Now I can literally just lie in bed and play to my heart’s content,” he said — at least until the battery of his rechargeable chip dies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved human trials of the brain chip last year after the company did hundreds of tests on animals.

Meanwhile, Neuralink has not revealed how many individuals are enrolled in the company’s six-year trial or where the trials will be held. However, Musk did admit that the first human trial could come with some “hiccups.”

“It’s not perfect. I would say that we have run into some issues,” he told those watching the livestream. “I don’t want people to think that this is the end of the journey. There’s a lot of work to be done. But it has already changed my life.”

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