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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Neuralink Checkmate

Brain-computer interface company Neuralink released a video yesterday purporting to show a quadriplegic patient who had received one of its implants playing a game of online chess with his mind. The nine-minute video features 29-year-old Nolan Arbaugh, who was paralyzed from the shoulders down in 2015 after a diving accident. Arbaugh became the first human patient to undergo the implant trial with Neuralink in January.

Founded in 2016 by Elon Musk (see deep dive), Neuralink develops invisible, wireless brain implants designed to restore control and movement to people with limited mobility due to brain-related issues. The procedure involves the use of a proprietary robot surgically implanting a coin-sized transponder underneath the skull. The Food and Drug Administration authorized Neuralink to conduct human trials in May.

The company also plans to offer the implant to healthy people to allow bodily integration with computers. Neuralink has faced scrutiny for its trials on monkeys, which reportedly required many to be euthanized. 

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