Elon Musk On Neuralink Brain Implant Malfunction: “Legacy Media Lies To The Public”

Elon Musk criticized mainstream media, alleging deceit in their reporting, amidst revelations of a setback with Neuralink’s pioneering brain chip technology.

Neuralink, the brainchild of Musk, made headlines by embedding the first invasive brain chip into a human subject. However, the company disclosed in a blog post on Wednesday that the groundbreaking device experienced a malfunction. The incident involved threads designed to surveil neurons appearing dislodged from the participant’s brain.

Details regarding the cause and extent of the malfunction remain murky. Neuralink has neither clarified the number of affected threads nor commented on potential safety hazards. Despite requests for clarification, the company has remained silent.

However, Musk took it to social media to respond to the coverage of the malfunction, characterizing the articles written about it as an illustration of “just how much the legacy media lies to the public.”

The malfunction, which commenced in late February, disrupted the flow of data from the implant. However, Neuralink claims to have partially mitigated the issue by tweaking its algorithm.

The implant, boasting 64 flexible threads with a total of 1,024 electrodes, aims to detect neuronal activity. Inserted by a proprietary surgical robot, these threads, thinner than human hair, are strategically positioned near target neurons. The objective is to translate detected signals into desired actions, such as controlling a computer cursor.

The initial recipient of the implant, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, demonstrated promising results initially. Arbaugh, paralyzed due to a diving accident in 2016, showcased remarkable abilities, including playing video games using only the implant.

However, concerns arose during an internal Neuralink meeting, where Arbaugh hinted at ongoing challenges. These concerns were amplified when reports surfaced, indicating displaced threads within Arbaugh’s brain.

Speculation surrounding the cause of the malfunction includes the possibility of trapped air post-surgery, a condition known as pneumocephalus.

While Arbaugh’s safety remains unaffected, the malfunction resulted in a decrease in the implant’s performance. Neuralink, however, claims to have restored the performance by refining its decoding algorithm.

Neuralink has communicated with the FDA regarding the issue, assuring the regulatory body of potential solutions. The company aims to proceed with further implantations in the coming months.


Information for this briefing was found via Arstechnica and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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