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Watch: Elon Musk’s Neuralink Chips Let Monkey Play Video Game With His Brain
By Alexa Heah, 12 Apr 2021
Image via Neuralink
In a video released last Thursday, Elon Musk shared footage of his brain-chip technology Neuralink in action for the first time. The video features a nine-year-old macaque monkey – implanted with Neuralink’s brain chips – as it appears to play a Pong-style video game without the use of a controller.
The monkey, named Pager, has two Neuralink chips implanted in his brain. According to Fast Company, these brain chips help to record information from more than 2,000 electrodes that have been placed in Pager’s motor cortex in order to register his desired hand and arm movements.
How it works: the Neuralink chips record information as Pager plays the game for the first time using a joystick, monitoring his hand movements. Then, the joystick is taken away and Pager plays the game telepathically just using his brain. In this round, Neuralink uses AI to predict Pager’s desired hand movements based on his brain activity.
Surprisingly, this technology isn’t new. Professor at Duke School of Medicine Miguel Nicolelis conducted a similar test in 2003, when technology had not even gone wireless. Much of Neuralink’s work is based on Nicolelis’ pioneering research. In fact, as per Fast Company, Neuralink’s company president had worked in Nicolelis’ lab at Duke.
The ultimate goal for Neuralink is to help people who have difficulties or cannot use conventional methods of interacting with computers. The first Neuralink product will help enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone without using their thumbs, said Musk.
First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
[via Fast Company, cover image via Neuralink]
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