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Watch Neuralink's first human patient play 'Mario Kart' with his mind

Neuralink's first patient was able to play Mario Kart using on his mind.
Neuralink's first patient was able to play Mario Kart using on his mind.X
  • Neuralink shared a video of its first human patient appearing to play "Mario Kart" with his mind.

  • The patient, Noland Arbaugh, is paralyzed from the neck down.

  • Arbaugh said during a Neuralink all-hands that the brain implant increased his independence.

Neuralink has shared a video that appeared to show its first human patient using his brain-chip implant to play "Mario Kart."

During an all-hands meeting with Neuralink staff, the company brought its first patient, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, onstage to describe the brain chip's capabilities. A video of the meeting was posted on X by Arbaugh on Friday.

Arbaugh, a quadriplegic who has said he was paralyzed from the neck down due to a swimming accident, said the device has allowed him to participate in some of his favorite activities from before the accident, including gaming.

"It makes — this is going to sound really kind of crazy — but it makes being paralyzed really not that bad," Arbaugh said. "Anything that makes me more independent I'm all for and this is probably going to make people like me the most independent that they might ever be until it all gets cured — and I think that's a very real possibility," he added.

Bliss Chapman, Neuralink's brain interface software lead, said playing "Mario Kart" — or a drinking-game variation called Beerio Kart that involves finishing a beer while racing — was one of the first things Arbaugh said he'd want to be able to do with the implant.

At the all hands, Neuralink showed a split-screen video of Donkey Kong and Bowser racing in the Mario Kart game. Chapman said he'd previously posted the video in an internal company channel and asked people to vote on which player they thought was being controlled by a brain-computer interface (BCI). In the video, Arbaugh, who Chapman said was racing Bowser, was not only able to follow the lines of the track, but also shoot another player down using only his mind to control his player in the game.

The Neuralink worker also showed a separate video of Arbaugh playing "Mario Kart" alongside his father.

"What you see is a dad and son playing 'Mario Kart' — something I grew up doing all the time with my parents, something that I did a lot with my friends growing up and something that wasn't possible until this happened," Chapman said. "I just think the normalcy of it contrasted with the absolute absurdity of doing it using the BCI is something to just marvel at and take in and soak in for a second."

Since Neuralink unveiled its first human patient earlier this month, Arbaugh has shared all kinds of tasks he's been able to perform with his new brain implant — from playing "Civilization VI" into the wee hours of the night to posting on X.

Have you applied to Neuralink's human trials or do you have insight to share? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email and device at gkay@businessinsider.com

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