Elon Musk and Neuralink: a monkey can play video games with his mind

In recent weeks, the Clubhouse application has become popular with around 5 million users, a leap from 3 million 10 days earlier. The app can only be accessed via an invitation and is exclusive to iPhone users. Clubhouse, however, is not simply a social network where the voice is used to interact but can also become a real source of news and updates. In fact, in recent days, Elon Musk said on this platform that Neuralink, his start-up dedicated to neural implants, has a monkey able to play video games with his mind, without any body movement.

Elon Musk and Neuralink have a monkey playing video games: the statements

Elon Musk Neuralink monkey video games

"We have a monkey with a wireless implant in its skull with tiny wires that can play video games with its mind," Musk told several thousand listeners in a Clubhouse chat. “You can't see where the plant is and he's a happy monkey. We have the most beautiful monkey facilities in the world. We want them to play Mind-Pong with each other . No further details have been provided regarding this particular project but Musk assured that videos will be released soon, perhaps in a month.

"He's not an unhappy monkey , " Musk explained, adding that no unusual behavior or mood swings were detected in the primate after implant placement. "We are studying how to remove it if a person no longer wants it or the device gets damaged," Musk also said on the social network. In fact, Neuralink's network is to create safe, removable and minimally invasive implants that allow the human mind to be empowered with the help of Artificial Intelligence .

The start-up Neuralink

Elon Musk Neuralink monkey video games

Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs in 2016. The headquarters is in San Francisco and was first unveiled in March 2017. Elon Musk said Neuralink is made up of a multidisciplinary team starting from its founders.

In July 2019 Musk announced that they were working on asewing machine that would serve to implant the very thin, hair-like threads directly into the human brain with laser precision . In addition, he developed a system to read the mind of a laboratory mouse through the use of 1500 electrodes. In May 2020, Musk announced that experiments on a human would begin within a year .

The electrodes used by Neuralink are ultra-thin and serve to stimulate neurons once inserted. The main goal of this start-up is to treat people paralyzed with quadriplegia due to C1-C4 spinal cord injury. But not only that, Musk said the Neuralink implant could also help people with diseases related to sight or hearing.

The chips and the future of Neuralink

The Neuralink implant. Credits: Neuralink

"(The implant) is like you have a Fitbit inside your skull with tiny wires going into your brain"

Elon Musk

In 2019, Musk also explained how the plant works. To be fully functional, Neuralink will need 4 N1 chips inserted directly into the cerebral cortex : one in the sensory cortex and three in the motor area. The chips will be connected, for power, to a battery that will be placed directly behind the ear. The final version of the Neuralink device will be accessible wirelessly, via a Bluetooth connection.

Musk's and Neuralink's dream is to empower the human mind thanks to the brain-computer interface . This will allow, not only to treat neurological diseases but also to let us control our electronic devices directly with the mind as the monkey under study seems to have already done. Perhaps in a few years we will see the first human being able to write or listen to music directly with the mind .

The article Elon Musk and Neuralink: a monkey can play with the mind comes from Tech CuE .