Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface company Neuralink has released a video showing the first human patient using a brain implant to control a mouse cursor and play a game of chess.

The patient, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, said he was injured in a diving accident eight years ago that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Arbaugh describes using the Neuralink implant as using the power of thought in a Star Wars movie, allowing him to “just look somewhere on the screen” and move the cursor where he wants.

Arbaugh said that in addition to playing chess, the Neuralink implant allowed him to play the video game Civilization VI for eight hours straight, although he was limited by having to wait for the implant to charge. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year gave Neuralink permission to conduct human clinical trials, and soon after, the company said it was looking for test subjects for the initial trial.

It’s the first time Neuralink has shared footage of a person using its brain implant since Musk announced in January that the first trial participant was “recovering well” after being implanted with the technology. A little less than three years ago, the company released a video showing a monkey controlling an on-screen cursor to play games using the technology.

In 2004, a paralyzed person was also able to move a cursor thanks to a brain-computer interface. However, an earlier iteration of this technology could not transmit data wirelessly like Neuralink and relied on wires protruding through the skin.

Neuralink has been criticized for how the trials were conducted, with critics citing a lack of transparency about elements such as the number of subjects or the outcomes it is evaluating. The company’s previous experiments with monkeys have also sparked controversy, including reports that the animals involved in the experiments had to be euthanized after developing complications.

Although Neuralink is initially being presented as an assistive technology, Musk has said that he eventually wants it to be implanted in completely healthy people to enhance their abilities.

Source: the Verge