Elon Musk’s Neuralink Reports Trouble With First Human Brain Chip

| Updated on June 25, 2024
First Neuralink chip experiences technical issues

Musk’s Neuralink is one of the first companies to successfully implant a brain chip into the human brain. But according to a recent report, apparently, the brain chip has malfunctioned and the neuron surveiling threads have become dislodged from the host’s brain.

It is yet unclear as to what caused this to happen but the company said in its blog post on Wednesday that the problems arose in late February but it has since been able to compensate for the lost data by modifying the algorithm.

Neuralink claims that its invasive implant consists of 64 flexible threads carrying a total of 1,024 electrodes that can detect neuronal activity. The company’s proprietary surgical robot inserts these flexible threads, which are thinner than human hair, one at a time into the brain. The threads will be placed near neurons of interest, allowing signals detected by electrodes to be recorded and decoded into intended actions, such as moving a cursor on a computer screen.

On January 28, Neuralink announced that it had surgically implanted its brain interface computer into its first clinical trial participant, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, who developed quadriplegia after a 2016 driving accident.

Since then, Neuralink and Arbaugh have released many videos and lifestreams of Arbaugh playing video games using the implant. The first sign of trouble came on March 1 when Arbaugh answered questions in an all-hands meeting with Neuralink, in which he said at one point: “Sure we’re still working out the kinks and stuff. But once we get this figured out, there’s no reason for [the implant] not to be out there,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

There is no news of Arbaugh being negatively affected by the implant as of yet and we can only wait and see how the brain chip performs in the coming future.

Reena Choudhary