How does a person who was “chipped” by Elon Musk live?

At the end of January 2024, specialists from the company Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, implanted a chip in the brain of 29-year-old Noland Arbo to control a computer mouse using the power of thought. Some time after the operation, the head of the company announced that the patient was recovering and the neurons of his brain had already begun to interact with the chip. The technology, which provides a new way to control equipment, is called Telepathy. Today, Neuralink's first patient can easily play chess on the computer and perform many other tasks for which he previously required outside help. As it turned out recently, a big problem arose during the test – the electrodes connecting the brain and the chip suddenly began to come off.

How does a person who was “chipped” by Elon Musk live? Noland Arbo is the first person with a Neuralink chip. Image source: Photo.

Noland Arbaugh is the first person with a Neuralink chip. Image source:

Elon Musk's Neuralink failed

The authors of the scientific publication IFL Science recently spoke about the problem with a link to the official Neuralink blog. The company's brain implant is connected to the cerebral cortex using more than 1,000 electrodes, which are combined into 64 bundles the thickness of a human hair. At first they successfully attached to the brain, but then several bunches came off.

Elon Musk's Neuralink malfunctioned. Neuralink brain implant. Image source: Photo.

Neuralink brain implant. Image source:

Needless to say, there were serious consequences following this. Due to poor communication between the brain and the computer, subject Noland Arbeau controlled the cursor on the screen much worse than he could have. Repeated surgery was risky, especially considering that it was performed by a special robot. The company even wanted to remove the chip, but engineers were able to adjust the system's operating algorithm so that it began to work faster even with the remaining electrode bundles.

Elon Musk's Neuralink malfunctioned. Neurosurgeon robot neuralink. Source: Photo.

Neurosurgeon robot neuralink. Source:

Experts from Neuralink measure the speed and accuracy of mouse control in bits per second (BPS). A few days after the operation, this figure was 4.6 BPS, and after improving the algorithm it rose to 8 BPS. Experts believe that in the future Noland Arbo will be able to control a computer mouse even faster and more accurately. Even he hopes that he can beat people who hold the mouse with their hand in this regard – when manually controlling the cursor, accuracy and speed are estimated at 10 BPS.

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Controlling a computer with the power of thought

The Neuralink chip failed, but the problem was solved. In general, it would be too good if such an innovative technology immediately worked without problems.

According to a post on the official Neuralink blog, Noland Arbo is doing great. Using the power of thought, he can play games not only on a personal computer, but also on the Nintendo Switch game console. He can use electronics in any position: sitting, lying down and even on his side. His life became noticeably easier because he used to use technology using a special device in his mouth, which he had to sit upright to use. Using the technology of controlling equipment with the power of thought, he became more independent.

Controlling a computer with the power of thought. Paralyzed Noland Arbo is capable of more today than before. Image source: Photo.

The paralyzed Noland Arbeau is capable of more today than before. Image source:

Every weekday, Noland Arbaugh meets with Neuralink employees and takes tests. And on weekends he uses Telepathy functions himself, without their help. Sometimes the test subject uses the capabilities of the chip for 12 hours a day, more than on weekdays. According to the graph, in the first half of March 2024 he was much less active – this is exactly the period when the electrodes came unstuck from his brain.

At the moment, Neuralink specialists are trying to teach a person to use a computer mouse. In the future, the company hopes to implant the chip in other people so that they can control prosthetic arms, wheelchairs and other equipment with the power of thought. Thanks to this technology, the lives of people with disabilities can become much easier.

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It’s not just Elon Musk’s company that is creating a brain-computer interface. The Chinese company Synchron has achieved great success in this regard, which received support from the richest people in the world – Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. The chip she created is not implanted directly into the brain, but is installed through the jugular vein. The Chinese device is called Neural Electronic Opportunity, and it is also being tested. You can learn about how a man with this chip lives in the article “In China they also “chipped” a person – Neuralink has a strong competitor.”