The billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink has released a video showing a monkey playing a simple videogame after getting the latest technology implants.
The 3-minute video by Neuralink shows Pager, a male macaque with chips implanted on either side of his brain, playing ‘Mind Pong’. Although he was trained to move a joystick, it is now unplugged. The monkey controls the paddle simply by thinking about moving his hand up or down.
San Francisco-based Neuralink aims to implant wireless brain-computer chips to help cure neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and spinal cord injuries and fuse humankind with artificial intelligence (AI).
Mr. Musk tweeted, “First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs.”
“Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in the brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again. The device is implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look & feel totally normal,” Mr. Musk added.
In a blog post, Neuralink has highlighted their progress by emphasizing the neural implant’s utility in assisting people with disabilities. The company said that the N1 link is a 1,024-electrode fully-implanted neural recording and data transmission device.
“We have implanted the Link in the hand and arm areas of the motor cortex, a part of the brain that is involved in planning and executing movements. We placed Links bilaterally: one in the left motor cortex (which controls movements of the right side of the body) and another in the right motor cortex (which controls the left side of the body),” as per the company statement.