Nowland Arbo, the first patient to be implanted with a brain chip from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink, played live chess yesterday.

Arbo, 29, who was paralyzed from the shoulder down after a diving accident, played chess on his laptop, moving the cursor with his thoughts through the Neuralink device.

In January, Elon Musk announced that Abro could control a computer mouse using his thoughts.

Answering the Neuralink engineer’s questions about how he uses the company’s technology, the 29-year-old explains that there was a training process, during which he had to learn to differentiate imaginary movement from attempted movement. “In the beginning I was trying to shake e.g. my right hand left, right, forward, back. And from there, I think it just became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving.”

“The surgery was super easy,” Abro said in the video streamed by Musk’s X social media platform, referring to the implant procedure. “I literally walked out of the hospital a day later, I have no cognitive impairment.

“I basically stopped playing this game,” Abro said, referring to Civilization VI, “you guys (Neuralink) gave me the ability to do it again and play for 8 hours straight.”

Explaining his experience with the new technology, Abro said it’s “not perfect” and “has run into some issues.”
“I don’t want people to think this is the end of the journey, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s already changed my life,” he added.