In a massive breakthrough, Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink released video footage showing a monkey playing a simple videogame after getting implants of the new technology.
The 3-minute video shows Pager, a male macaque with embedded chips on each side of its brain, playing ‘Mind Pong’ and controlling the paddle by simply thinking about moving his hand up or down.
“First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs,” tweeted Musk. “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. The device is implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look & feel totally normal.”
The video’s voiceover states, “Neuralink works by recording and decoding electrical signals from the brain using more than 2,000 electrodes implanted in regions of the monkey’s motor cortex that coordinate hand and arm movements”.
“Using these data, we calibrate the decoder by mathematically modeling the relationship between patterns of neural activity and the different joystick movements they produce.”
Co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016, San Francisco-based Neuralink aims to implant wireless brain computer chips to help cure neurological conditions including dementia, alzheimer’s, and spinal cord related injuries by fusing humankind with artificial intelligence.
Musk has a history of getting experts from various fields to chart unexplored territory which previously was limited to academic labs. Musk’s Tesla Inc and SpaceX are example of real world companies providing those benefits in the form of products for consumers.