Neuralink’s first guinea pig discusses the failures of its implant

Neuralink’s first guinea pig discusses the failures of its implant
Neuralink’s first guinea pig discusses the failures of its implant

In an interview with Bloomberg, the first patient equipped with a Neuralink implant gives his version of the facts after the Reuters revelations.

On May 15, the Reuters agency revealed that the Neuralink implant, which was installed in the head of a first patient at the beginning of the year, had suffered technical problems. Some of the tiny wires of the device had retracted. A problem long known by the company founded by Elon Musk, whose project is to implant chips in the brains of humans so that they can control a computer “by thought”.

“I started to lose control of the cursor,” explains Noland Arbaugh, the first “augmented” human, who had been shown playing chess and Mario Kart. The 29-year-old Texan found himself paralyzed eight years ago after a diving accident which left him quadriplegic, and was able to regain some of his functions thanks to the implant.

The Neuralink box, which connects the implant to a machine – Neuralink

Retracted wires

“I thought they had made changes and that was the reason [de ces problèmes]. But then they told me the wires had retracted in my brain,” he adds. Noland Arbaugh adds that the news was “hard to hear,” with the fear for him and his loved ones of unable to continue the experiment: “My journey was coming to an end.”

The one who mentions having “cried a little” was nevertheless able to benefit from algorithmic changes on the part of Neuralink, even though the information sent via the implant was visibly decreasing.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the young man explains that he has no regrets and even thinks that the next person to receive an implant – which Neuralink is actively seeking – will feel the same way as him: “Once you get a taste for using it, you won’t Can’t stop, it amazes me so much.”

Noland Arbaugh now wants to be on the list to receive the next version of the implant, without knowing if this will be possible. In the meantime, he continues to collaborate up to 35 hours per week with Neuralink researchers.

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