Elon Musk wants Neuralink chip to give the world “super powers”

Rosalie Newcombe

Elon Musk and the rest of the Neuralink executives hope that the second-ever patient is just weeks away from receiving the chip.

Neuralink founder and X (formerly Twitter) big-wig Elon Musk is already preparing to implant another human patient, making them the second only person in the world to receive the Neuralink chip.

In a live stream shared on his X platform on June 10, Musk, alongside the rest of the Neuralink team, explained that they hope to implant the next chip in a “week or so.”

According to the stream, which is viewable in its entirety on the official Neuralink X page, Musk and his team of executives explained that they hope to avoid the same issues experienced with the first Neuralink patient.

In January 2024, Noland Arbaugh was the first person ever to receive the Neuralink chip. Since that time, Arbaugh, who is paralyzed from the shoulders down, has been able to play, and win, games of chess online.

The 29-year-old has also been able to utilize the Neuralink chip to stream multiple hours of Civilization VI, despite the chip only having “15% of its channels” functional. However, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride.

Just weeks after Arbaugh received the chip at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix Arizona, the company revealed in a blog post that several threads from the chip retracted from his brain.

As a result, there was a decrease in effective electrodes, which meant less data would be transmitted. Neuralink went on to resolve the issue, making the chip more sensitive to neural signals.

The first Neuralink patient

While Neuralink didn’t explain how the problem arose at the time, the live stream reveals that air pockets in the skull, which can occur during surgery, were a major contributing factor.

With future participants, the Head of Neurosurgery at Neuralink, Dr Matthew MacDougall, hopes to keep the CO2 concentration normal to avoid the same risks. He also detailed plans to ensure some threads are inserted deeper into the brain.

Musk went on to explain in the recent live stream that he hopes the Neuralink implant will one day “give people superpowers.”

“It’s not just that we’re restoring your prior brain functionality, but that you actually have functionality far greater than a normal human.”

As of the time of writing, Neuralink hasn’t shared the exact date, nor who the patient for the second Neuralink chip is. However, it’s safe to say we’ll likely hear all about it on Musk’s social media pages when the time comes.

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