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According to Neuralink, the first human brain implant has experienced a malfunction

The Elon Musk-owned startup announced on Wednesday that several threads designed to record neural activity had retracted from the brain of 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh. This incident occurred weeks after the implant surgery in late January, which initially aimed to enhance his ability to control a computer cursor solely through brain signals.

Neuralinks First Human Noland Arbaugh 78711173

Following the retraction, the effectiveness of the electrodes decreased, limiting Arbaugh’s capacity to manipulate the cursor. Neuralink responded by altering the recording algorithm to better capture neural population signals. Additionally, improvements were made in translating these signals into cursor movements and in refining the user interface. These adjustments reportedly led to a rapid and significant enhancement in the bits-per-second rate, which measures the speed and accuracy of cursor control, ultimately exceeding Arbaugh’s initial performance levels.

Despite these challenges, the adjustments have shown promising results without compromising Arbaugh’s safety. However, the possibility of removing the implant was considered, as indicated by a report in The Wall Street Journal. Neuralink has also communicated to the Food and Drug Administration that it believes to have resolved the issue that occurred with Arbaugh’s implant.

After roughly 100 days of receiving his implant, Arbaugh has demonstrated the ability to engage in various activities using his mind-controlled cursor. According to Neuralink’s updates, he can play online games, browse the internet, participate in livestreams, and use other applications.


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