Neuralink Telepathy livestream reactions show that people can still be optimistic (Op-ed)

(Credit: Neuralink/YouTube)

It is no secret that Elon Musk’s ventures are ambitious. It is also no secret that they attract equal amounts of praise and criticism. Following Musk’s purchase of Twitter, which he has since renamed to X, the volume of negative coverage attracted by the Tesla CEO’s projects has been substantial. Anyone who’s followed Musk over the years knows that the CEO attracts a lot of vitriol today, and so do his companies. 

This changed — at least to some degree — when Neuralink posted an update on Participant #1, its first human patient, yesterday. In a rather informal livestream, Neuralink’s Bliss Chapman and Neuralink patient Noland Arbaugh demonstrated how Telepathy, the company’s first device, worked. Arbaugh is a 29-year-old who was paralyzed from the shoulders down after a freak diving accident, and he received his Neuralink Telepathy in January.

As noted by Arbaugh, the capability to move and engage with technology using Telepathy is nothing short of life-changing. So life-changing was his Neuralink implant that the 29-year-old admitted that the first thing he did with his Telepathy device was play Civilization VI all night. Elon Musk, in a response on X, lightly admitted that playing Civilization VI would be the first thing he would do as well under the same circumstances. 

Quite surprisingly, the media attention that Neuralink’s Telepathy demonstration has been notably positive. And while Musk’s involvement in the company did attract the usual criticisms from skeptics, even media outlets such as CNBC have admitted that with companies like Neuralink, it is actually a pretty amazing time to be alive. TMZ shared the same sentiments, with the media outlet’s hosts acknowledging the potential benefits of Neuralink for humanity. 

Peter Diamandis, the founder and executive chairman of XPrize, also praised the milestone. In an interview with CNBC, Diamandis noted that this is just the beginning. He also noted that “the speed of acceleration means in the next ten years, we’re going to see as much progress as we’ve seen in the last hundred years.” Such sentiments are not that farfetched. One simply needs to look at Tesla and SpaceX’s milestones over the past decade to show that Musk-led companies tend to grow and innovate quickly.

What is quite amazing is the fact that Neuralink is really just getting started. Telepathy has already demonstrated its potential to change lives, and the company’s next product, which Elon Musk noted would be called Blindsight, could help even more people. Yes, there will definitely be critics. A look at social media today would show as much. But at the same time, it’s also pretty encouraging to see a growing group of supporters cheering on Neuralink as it takes aim at its ambitious goals. 

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Neuralink Telepathy livestream reactions show that people can still be optimistic (Op-ed)
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