Human implanted with Neuralink brain chip ‘can control computer mouse just by thinking’, Elon Musk says | Science & Tech News

The first human patient implanted with a brain chip from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink can control a computer mouse “just by thinking”, the billionaire has said.

Musk – who started the company in 2016 – said the patient seems to have fully recovered and the company is now trying to get as many mouse button clicks as possible from them.

“Progress is good. The patient seems to have made a full recovery, with no ill effects that we are aware of,” Musk said during an event on Spaces, a way to have live audio conversations on X.

“Patient is able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking.”

The brain chip was successfully implanted last month after the company received approval for recruitment for the human trial in September.

The first human patient has received an implant from brain-chip startup Neuralink
The first human patient received the implant last month. Pic: Neuralink

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

He also said it would be able to potentially treat obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia.

The process works by using a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move.

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However, Neuralink has faced scrutiny regarding its safety protocols.

Last month, the firm was fined for violating US Department of Transportation rules regarding the movement of hazardous materials.

The company was valued at about $5bn (£3.9bn) last June, but four politicians in late November asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Musk had misled investors about the safety of its technology after veterinary records showed problems with the implants on monkeys included paralysis, seizures and brain swelling.

In response Musk wrote in a social media post in September that “no monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant”.

He added that the company chose “terminal” monkeys to minimise risk to healthy ones.