Science & Tech

Chess players hope Elon Musk's Neuralink brain chips can revolutionise the game

Chess players hope Elon Musk's Neuralink brain chips can revolutionise the game
First human with brain chip plays computer game with his mind

The patient installed with Elon Musk’s brain chip has played online chess using only their mind and online chess players hope it will revolutionize the game.

In January, billionaire Musk sparked concern after announcing that the first human had received a brain implant from Neuralink – his neurotechnology company developing a brain-computer interface.

Until then, the system had only been tested on animals and sparked “welfare” concerns over monkey deaths, alleged by former employees.

Now, Musk has claimed that the first human patient with the chip, Noland Arbaugh, was able to move a computer cursor and play digital chess simply by using “telepathy” to complete the chess moves.

In a post on X/Twitter, Musk shared a nine-minute-long livestream video of appearing to show Arbaugh using his mind to move the cursor and play online chess. At the time of writing, the video is pinned to the top of his account.

Musk wrote: “@Neuralink demonstrating ‘Telepathy’ – controlling a computer and playing video games just by thinking.”

The clip has been watched several million times and chess enthusiasts have already joked that they would be up for getting a chip if it eliminates “mouseslipping” – an unintentional mouseclick that occurs because of a jittery mouse movement.

The X/Twitter account for, the world’s largest chess community, posted, “if this eliminates mouseslipping I’m getting one too”.

In response, someone asked: “Would these people now be considered chess bots?”

Another said: “Is this considered cheating?”

Earlier this month, Musk got into an argument with the infamous chess grandmaster Hans Niemann over how AI is impacting the game.

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)