Neuralink patient controls mouse

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Elon Musk, the founder of Neuralink, has announced that the first human patient with a Neuralink brain chip implant can now control a computer mouse using their thoughts. This development comes after the chip was implanted in January, and the patient appears to have made a full recovery without any ill effects. The current trial involved implanting a brain-computer interface in a part of the brain that relays an intention to move. Neuralink's technology aims to help individuals with traumatic injuries operate computers using just their thoughts. The identity of the patient has not been released, but the company had previously stated it was looking for individuals with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for its trials. Musk mentioned that Neuralink is working on getting as many button presses as possible from the patient's thoughts, which could include actions like moving the computer mouse up and down to drag boxes on a screen. The company's goal is to restore lost capabilities such as vision, motor function, and speech, and the initial users will be people who have lost the use of their limbs. However, there has been criticism regarding the lack of formal reporting to the public about the experiment, with some experts arguing that there is a moral responsibility for transparency to avoid giving false hope to people with serious neurological disabilities. Other companies working on brain-computer interfaces, such as Synchron, have been enrolling and implanting people in trials since 2021 and are reportedly further along in the research process. Neuralink's ambitions extend to using implants to connect human brains to computers to assist paralyzed people in controlling smartphones or computers, or blind people in regaining sight. The company's first product is called Telepathy, and the initial goal is to enable control of a computer cursor or keyboard using thoughts alone. Before Neuralink's brain implants can be made widely available, they will need regulatory approval, and the company has faced scrutiny over its safety protocols.
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