Neuralink Corp, the startup founded by Elon Musk in 2016, is known for its focus on developing technologies for the brain and now it has been successful in making monkeys play video games with their brains. At first, monkeys playing video games with their minds sounds like an episode straight from the popular British television series titled ‘Black Mirror’ however, on a serious note this new development will open up many new possibilities.
Elon Musk said on Clubhouse, a private social app where users host spontaneous and informal conversations, “We have a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull with tiny wires who can play video games with his mind…You can’t see where the implant is and he’s a happy monkey. We have the nicest monkey facilities in the world. We want them to play mind-Pong with each other.” This was heard by thousands of listeners in a Clubhouse chatroom. The response from Musk had come following a query that asked him about the latest developments at Neuralink.
Musk also said that the videos of the wired monkeys, playing video games with their minds, will be released soon probably in a month. The idea of Neuralink is to address brain and spinal injuries and to achieve the lost capacities in individuals with the implanted chip as per Musk’s explanation. He also added that the primitive versions of this device had wires sticking out of the brain, but the new implant is like a Fitbit in the skull with tiny wires that go into the brain.
According to a report, Neuralink aims to implant the chips into the brains of humans to provide a high-bandwidth link between humans and computers. “This would massively improve the quality of communication, and the speed of it”, Musk said.
The chip will be able to communicate with the brain cells with 1,024 thin electrodes that penetrate the outer layer of the brain. A Bluetooth link is available to connect it to an outside computing device. Other radio technologies that can be used to increase the number of data links are also being looked into by the company.
Neuralink’s new development apparently plans to use wireless chips in treating the disorders and diseases of the human brain and to mainly focus on “human-AI symbiosis” and “conceptual telepathy”.
On Twitter, many people have compared and related Neuralink’s latest development with the scenario from the planet of the apes.