As the world develops and technology improves, humans constantly move closer to the world we see in sci-fi movies we love. Elon Musk’s Neuralink brought us one massive step closer on the 21st of March with evidence of his brain implant working perfectly on a human subject. 

Related: Musk Implanted a Chip in a Human Brain and The Patient Survived!

The news was broken to the world through a YouTube video released on Neuralink’s channel. In it, we saw Nolan Arbaugh, the first user of the Neuralink device (and technically the world’s first Jedi), play chess with his mind. As “Rick and Morty” as that sounds, it was a truly fantastic thing to witness. However, the chip has encountered some issues.

It has been reported that some of the brain implant’s electrode-studded threads started retracting from Nolan’s brain tissue. As scary as that sounds, it doesn’t mean Nolan has become a Sith Lord. The malfunction has only caused a reduction in the bits per second of the device since the attachment is not as tight as it used to be. In other words, Nolan might experience a bit of cursor lag, and it won’t be the fault of his PC’s RAM but an effect of the malfunction. 

Source: Pinterest

Neuralink, however, mentioned in a blog post that they made some refinements to the implant software and didn’t even have to remove or reinsert the device. With a modification of the implant’s recording algorithm, improvement of the device’s translation capabilities, and lots of love, they say Nolan is now even better. 

Eventually, Neuralink hopes to extend the functionality of its implant to enable users to control robotic arms, wheelchairs, and other technology that will help people living with quadriplegia live more independent and self-reliant lives. Clearly, there is still a lot to do, but very soon, and if all goes well, robotic arm high-fives will be a thing.

What About Precision Neuroscience?

Meanwhile, Precision Neuroscience, the company that makes similar brain chips, has now set a new record of 4,096 electrodes placed on a human brain. In a blog post, Precision shared its latest milestone, which is more than double last year’s record of 2,048 electrodes. 

Source: Quora

Precision is not just Neuralink’s direct competitor. The company also has a personal history with Neuralink. The company’s founder, Dr. Ben Rapoport, was a former Neuralink co-founder with Elon Musk before he went on to lead Precision. It was reported that he left Neuralink for “safety concerns,” but the man is doing just fine with Precision Neuroscience. 

Out of his safety concerns, Dr Rapoport’s Precision Neuroscience has used a more noninvasive approach, placing the chip on the outside of the brain compared to some Neuralink chips, which penetrate the patient’s brain. 

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Regardless of their approach, both companies are doing cutting-edge work on the human brain that’s blowing minds (not literally), advancing human technology, and improving people’s lives. If you ask Nolan, our very own Professor X, he’ll tell you how much his life has improved with his superpowers. 

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