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Paralysed Man Posts World’s First ‘Direct-Thought’ Tweet Using Brain Chip

by : Shola Lee on :
Paralyzed Man Posts World's First 'Direct-Thought' Tweet Using Brain ChipAlamy

Philip O’Keefe has made the first ‘direct-thought’ tweet, after having a computer chip implanted into his brain.

O’Keefe, a 62-year-old from Australia, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He made the tweet using just his thoughts and a brain computer interface created by neurotech startup Synchron.

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The tweet was posted to Synchron CEO Thomas Oxley’s Twitter. After sharing the tweet, O’Keefe proceeded to talk about the ‘astonishing’ technology.

The tweet read:

No need for keystrokes or voices. I created this tweet just by thinking it. #helloworldbci.

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According to a press release from Sychron, O’Keefe commented on how the technology had helped him regain his ‘independence’ after posting his tweet.

O’Keefe said:

When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give back to me. The system is astonishing, it’s like learning to ride a bike – it takes practice, but once you’re rolling, it becomes natural. Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter.

Speaking of the tweets O’Keefe composed, Oxley said, ‘They highlight the connection, hope and freedom that BCIs give to people like Phil who have had so much of their functional independence taken away due to debilitating paralysis.’

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O’Keefe’s chip was implanted in April 2020, after his condition deteriorated and he was left unable to undertake

independent activities.

The chip was inserted through the jugular vein and reportedly took four hours after implantation to be able to input text into a computer.

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The technology has allowed O’Keefe to reconnect with his loved ones by sending emails and playing games on the computer.

Next year, researchers in the US will conduct the first in-human study of Synchron’s brain computer interface.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: News, brain, Computer, Now, Twitter

Credits

The Independent and 1 other
  1. The Independent

    BRAIN CHIP ALLOWS PARALYSED MAN TO POST FIRST EVER ‘DIRECT-THOUGHT’ TWEET

  2. Thomas Oxley/Twitter

    @tomoxl