The first human subject to have received one of biotech startup Neuralink’s brain implants has fully recovered and is able to control a computer mouse using only their thoughts, according to company founder Elon Musk.

News that Neuralink had successfully implanted one of their N1 brain–machine interface (BMI) devices into a human subject was broken by Musk in a tweet on X (formerly Twitter) on January 29, saying that “the first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well,” and that the “initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”

“Progress is good, and the patient seems to have made a full recovery, with no ill effects that we are aware of,” Musk stated during a February 19 Spaces event hosted on X. “Patient is able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking.”

“We’re trying to get as many button presses as possible from thinking,” Musk added. “So that’s what we’re currently working on is: can you get left mouse, right mouse, mouse down, mouse up… We want to have more than just two buttons.”

Implanted using a surgical robot to ensure precision placement of the device, the implant’s 1,024 electrodes record the subject’s neurological activity and convey these impulses to an app that makes use of a machine-learning algorithm to decode the user’s thoughts into commands that the computer they’re controlling can understand. The company received clearance to move into human trials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last September, and began recruiting subjects with quadriplegia caused either by a spinal cord injury or lateral sclerosis as candidates for implantation.

The company has been the subject of a number of investigations stemming from allegations of animal welfare violations, regarding an abnormally high number of test animals being euthanized; and also for conflict-of-interest issues regarding having paid employees on their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the internal body responsible for the welfare of Neuralink’s test animals.

Neuralink’s goal is to develop a reliable BMI that can allow people with mobility issues to control devices with only their thoughts, with the long-term goal of human cybernetic enhancement, with Musk promoting the idea of developing a “neural lace” that could be applied as an additional layer to the human brain that would be used to augment human intelligence.

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  1. I didn’t have a chance to update the article before we posted, but it should be noted that all of this news is coming from informal tweets posted by Musk, with Neuralink having offered nothing regarding the subject so far.

    This, along with the company’s past issues, has raised concerns about the subject’s well-being from a Baylor College neurologist, who posted about them in Nature.

    As we wait for Neuralink to provide an official update, we can marvel at the power of a Star Wars toy from fifteen years ago that did the exact same thing

  2. Living in Central Texas, we hear about much of this is local news, but I already know that the word is not out there as it should be: Poor guy, he’s not being paid enough…

    Elon Musk doubles down on his promise to ditch Delaware. SpaceX is headed for Texas incorporation .

    Neuralink, The Boring Company (there’s a joke there, ha, ha.), Space X…Please note that none of the articles mention Neuralink, which seems to be a secret.

    There is a website. Have fun with that:

    And as he has warned of the dangers of AI, he is actively pursuing it:

    So much of what he is doing is slipping under the radar.

  3. This business of Brain Computer Interfaces is a curious one.

    Seems to me that if they are drip feeding tidbits of development news here and there then it’s possible, if not likely, that actual progress may be decades ahead.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are unsuspecting people walking up and down high streets with BCIs fitted and going about their daily business unaware that their thoughts are connected to a hive mind of sorts. Equally, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them have determined that ‘something was going on’ but decided to happily get on with it without any concerns, especially if there were be subtle advantages that they believed they may have noticed.

    Yes, these are musings but they are exciting ones. People worry about being controlled by evil fascists and yet I see UK news reports of antisemitic attacks on Jewish people and the attackers don’t seem to realise how they appear to the outside world. This is how easy it is to get sucked into the vacuum of entropy that politicians and religious leaders draw us into.

    What’s wrong with being connected to a universal collective or hive mind? You can still go and watch Barbie at the cinema or read drivel about celebrities in the media. If such a connection assisted in offering reasonable counter-arguments to one’s annoyances the split second they appeared then why not roll with that?

    If it offered a chance, just a chance, of faster optimal synthesis then I’m fine with that. Yes, one’s ego would still have a voice but a gentle voice riding along with you, suggesting that maybe you should put down the revving chainsaw and pour a cup of Yorkshire tea may not be that bad a thing..

    Ideas please, anyone?

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