Elon Musk’s Neuralink demonstrates monkey playing Pong with its brain


LAST UPDATED: April 10, 2021, 3:17 p.m.

New Delhi (Anish Yande): Elon Musk’s Neuralink has demonstrated a new achievement in its tech journey. The neurotechnology firm posted a video showing a monkey controlling and playing a video game with its mind. Elon Musk tweeted the video stating, ‘A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip’.

Neuralink shows monkey controlling video game with its brain:

The video shows the monkey, a 9-year-old primate called Pager, playing a video game with a joystick. The primate is playing the video game Pong, which involves tossing a ball between two moving bars. The monkey plays the game for getting a banana as a reward. Pager shifts to playing Pong without the joystick. 

The Neuralink device monitors the data from Pager’s neurons, such as which neurons were active as the monkey played the game. The video shows the difficulty of the video game increasing however the monkey can keep up with the increasing difficulty while controlling the game through his brain. 

The Neuralink chip was inserted into the primate’s brain around six weeks before the filming of the video. 

Neuralink to help people with paralysis: 

Elon Musk stated through a tweet on Friday that the first Neuralink product would let users with paralysis for using a smartphone with their mind. Users with paralysis can use the smartphone with their mind faster than touch input. 

In another tweet, Musk said, ‘Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,’

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Neuralink is developing an implantable brain-machine interface (BMI) for helping people with paralysis to control devices with their brains. 

The neurotechnology company is headquartered in San Francisco and started operations in 2016. Neuralink has a team of around 100 people developing a computer-brain interface for paralytic people. 

Neuralink aims to develop a safe and effective clinical BMI system that is wireless and fully implantable. This system can be operated fully by users and taken anywhere they go.

Image Credit: Google

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