Elon Musk says first human Neuralink implantee can now move a mouse around 'just by thinking'

Neuralink BCI implant
(Image credit: Neuralink)

The first human patient to receive a Neuralink implant has recovered well after the procedure, and is now able to "move the mouse around the screen just by thinking," says Elon Musk. Now the Neuralink team is working on button presses to augment the mouse movement ability. It seems like the subject can think into action just one mouse button for now, with work already ongoing to use click and drag and to implement more buttons.

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In the embedded audio clip above Musk can be heard discussing the success of the Neuralink brain-computer interface human implant in a Spaces event on X, originally broadcast late on Monday.

It has been about three weeks since the human subject went through the controversial operation to have a Neuralink brain chip implanted. Musk commented on the success of the operation just a day afterwards, saying “Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.” Today, things have come a lot further if mousing around is possible.

As PC and gaming enthusiasts, many readers will be aware that controlling a mouse and the mastery of a rodent are two distinct things. At one extreme, the Neuralink subject’s mousing might be slow to respond and inaccurate. At another, this wired-up human might be on the brink of being an eSports tournament slayer. We have no idea of the skill level at this time.

As we mentioned in the intro, the brainwave-induced mouse movements are still in the early stages of progress. The audio clip has Musk suggesting that more mouse operations, extra buttons, and other skills will be worked on as the implantee becomes accustomed to this new control interface.

The development of Neuralink has great potential for enhancing the lives of people with impairments or disabilities, for example. However, the firm has faced criticism from several angles. We note Wired’s alarming report that up to a dozen monkeys had to be euthanized after Neuralink experimentation. More recently nonpartisan research institute The Hastings Center was damning of what it called Neuralink’s “science by press release.” Moreover, the Center concluded its piece by reminding onlookers that “When the person paying for a human experiment with a huge financial stake in the outcome is the sole source of information, basic ethical standards have not been met.”

If you are weighing up Neuralink versus the best wireless gaming mice currently available, we think there is still some time development needed for the former to come up to scratch. 

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Notton
    You understand why this is flawed journalism, right?
    You're saying, that he's saying, that some experiment worked, and there is not even video evidence to backup this hearsay claim.
    Reply
  • ingtar33
    Notton said:
    You understand why this is flawed journalism, right?
    You're saying, that he's saying, that some experiment worked, and there is not even video evidence to backup this hearsay claim.
    this is like... 99% of all journalism. Remember Elizabeth Holmes? person a says something. reporter b copies it verbatim, gullible venture capitalists jump on the next great thing (Theranos). rinse-repeat

    I remember I was watching the news with my father when the first "everything blood analyzer" was first reported by the press and my father nearly fell out of his chair laughing. as someone who's been working in radiation medicine developing cancer drugs he knew the claims were <Mod Edit> on the face of them. Had the press talked to anyone in the medical industry they would have heard this was <Mod Edit>. but they didn't bother to ask questions.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    He built Tesla and SpaceX. . . I'll give the man the benefit of the doubt for now.

    While it's true you've been able to "move a mouse by thinking about it" for a while, this is the first baby step of many. Breakthroughs are cool and all, but most engineering is good ol' incremental iteration.
    Reply
  • oofdragon
    HTH volunteer to have a antenna plugged into his brain?
    Reply
  • gg83
    Notton said:
    You understand why this is flawed journalism, right?
    You're saying, that he's saying, that some experiment worked, and there is not even video evidence to backup this hearsay claim.
    Lmao, it's like the news talking about what a celebrity tweeted. Pretty much useless.
    Reply
  • gg83
    Now space x is building a "star lab". He literally is like Wayland from alien saga.
    Reply
  • ThomasKinsley
    ingtar33 said:
    this is like... 99% of all journalism. Remember Elizabeth Holmes? person a says something. reporter b copies it verbatim, gullible venture capitalists jump on the next great thing (Theranos). rinse-repeat

    I remember I was watching the news with my father when the first "everything blood analyzer" was first reported by the press and my father nearly fell out of his chair laughing. as someone who's been working in radiation medicine developing cancer drugs he knew the claims were <Mod Edit> on the face of them. Had the press talked to anyone in the medical industry they would have heard this was <Mod Edit>. but they didn't bother to ask questions.
    This. It also makes me think of Juicero. The glorified juicer that cost hundreds of dollars and all it did was collect your personal data and squeeze juice from a proprietary bag, which you could do faster and easier with your bare hands. The product received major endorsements and nobody questioned it until someone squeezed the bag. It's peculiar, but people still treat technology as some sort of mystic power. As long as it makes grandiose promises about our quality of life and has an upperclass sense, people are willing to suspend disbelief and spend money.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    also don't forget this isnt anything new.

    We have had technology to interact with stuff via brainwaves for a long time just Muskrats version is a brain implant instead of something you wear on outside of your body.

    jkflipflop98 said:
    He built Tesla and SpaceX. . . I'll give the man the benefit of the doubt for now.
    He didn't build Tesla..he took it over from the actual person who did. (because Musk wasn't getting any spotlight and we know how big his ego for that is)
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    We should know by now, that nothing that Elon Musk says should be taken at face value.
    Reply
  • Rabohinf
    jkflipflop98 said:
    He built Tesla and SpaceX. . . I'll give the man the benefit of the doubt for now.

    While it's true you've been able to "move a mouse by thinking about it" for a while, this is the first baby step of many. Breakthroughs are cool and all, but most engineering is good ol' incremental iteration.
    But can we move a man by moving a mouse?
    Reply