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Elon Musk’s Neuralink company is on the hunt for a new participant to trial its Telepathy cybernetic brain implant. This enables users to control their phones and computers purely through their minds. Neuralink has opened applications for individuals with disabilities, who can apply via the official Neuralink website.

Interested parties can navigate to the “Patient Registry” section and select the “Application” option. However, it’s important to note that not all applicants will be selected, and successful candidates may be considered for current or future clinical trials. Currently, the application is open exclusively to residents of the United States and Canada.

“Neuralink is accepting applications for the second participant. This is our Telepathy cybernetic brain implant that allows you to control your phone and computer just by thinking. No one better than Noland (@ModdedQuad) himself to tell you about the first,” Musk announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Earlier this year, Noland Arbaugh marked a historic milestone as the first person to receive a brain-computer interface chip from Neuralink. Following a diving accident eight years ago that left him paralysed, the 29-year-old Texan witnessed remarkable progress. Using the chip, he controlled a computer cursor with his mind and indulged in games such as Civilization VI and Mario Kart.

Arbaugh’s journey began on a high note, excelling in standardized brain-computer interface assessments. However, challenges emerged along the way. Neuralink disclosed that some threads implanted in his motor cortex began retracting over time, likely due to residual air from surgery.

In a candid interview with Bloomberg, Arbaugh shared the emotional turmoil of losing the newfound abilities foe sometime. “I started losing control of the cursor,” he recounted. “I thought they’d made some changes and that was the reason. But then they told me that the threads were getting pulled out of my brain,” he added, expressing his disappointment.

“It was really hard to hear. I thought I’d gotten to use it for maybe a month, and then my journey was coming to an end.”

This setback was a blow to Arbaugh, who had anticipated further progress. Neuralink, however, responded proactively to the declining data stream from Arbaugh’s implant. A recent blog post from the company announced successful adjustments to the algorithm interpreting the chip’s signals, resulting in enhanced data throughput.

Despite the hurdles, Arbaugh has resumed using the implant to trace letters on his computer screen, paving the way for Neuralink’s software to recognise words more efficiently, with the ultimate goal of interpreting entire sentences.

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