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Elon Musk’s Neuralink shows first brain-chip patient playing chess

Noland Arbaugh, the 29-year-old patient who was paralysed below the shoulder after a diving accident, received an implant from the company in January.

The first patient to receive a brain chip from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink has appeared to play online chess.

Neuralink released a nine-minute video in which the patient, who is paralysed below his shoulders, appears to move a cursor across a laptop screen with nothing but his thoughts. The video shows him playing chess and turning off the laptop’s music.

The patient, who had not been previously identified, said in the live stream video that his name is Noland Arbaugh, 29, who was paralysed below the shoulder after a diving accident.

Mr Arbaugh received an implant from the company in January and could control a computer mouse using his thoughts, Musk said last month.

Musk previously said the aim of the brain chip is to eventually allow users with disabilities, like the late Stephen Hawking, to “communicate faster than an auctioneer”.

“The surgery was super easy,” Mr Arbaugh said in the video streamed on Musk’s social media platform X, referring to the implant procedure.

“I literally was released from the hospital a day later. I have no cognitive impairments.”

He said he had “basically given up playing” the game Civilization VI, but “you all [Neuralink] gave me the ability to do that again and I played for eight hours that day.”

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