Elon Musk’s Neuralink helps monkies play Pong with their minds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Plenty of people in the world have neurological disorders, from brain damage to paralysis, that will benefit from this technology.

 

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In another breakthrough for Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology Neuralink, the neuro-technology startup created by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who recently showed off their connected pigs, have now released another video that shows a 9 year old monkey called Pager playing the video game Pong using only its brain.

 

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The video, which was posted to YouTube, is yet another demonstration of the increasingly powerful technology that Musk hopes will one day help people merge with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and help people with neurological conditions and damage overcome their injuries and regain their lives.

In the experiment Neuralink capsules were placed on each side of Pager’s brain, according to the video, and used to track and record the neural activity of the parts of his brain that focuses on hand and arm movements.

 

Can you play Pong with your mind?

 

Once that activity was decoded they were then able to predict the monkey’s hand movements in real time. The monkey is shown playing a game of Pong, purportedly moving the paddle to strike the ball by just thinking where he wants it to go.

 

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“Our goal is to enable a person with paralysis to use a computer or phone with their brain activity alone,” a narrator says in the video.

Meanwhile Musk lauded the developments with Neuralink on Twitter: “A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!” he said.

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