Elon Musk has revealed that one of his startup companies has managed to get a monkey to play video games with its mind, thanks to a chip implanted in the monkey’s brain. Musk’s brain-hacking company, Neuralink, has been working on creating a device that consists of tiny probes with electrodes attached to tiny flexible threads that can monitor the activity of thousands of brain neurons, the BBC has reported. It had begun testing the technology on a monkey, and in an update Musk said the animal was successfully able to control a computer with its brain.
“He’s a happy monkey,” Musk said during a conversation on the private social app Clubhouse, according to Bloomberg. Musk was responding to questions about the latest developments of Neuralink, which was founded in 2017.
“We have a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull with tiny wires who can play video games with his mind,” he told listeners. “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.”
Musk is the founder of both Tesla and SpaceX.
The aim of the technology is to use a chip to help people who have suffered brain and spinal injuries.
“There are primitive versions of this device with wires sticking out of your head, but it’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires that go into your brain,” Musk explained.
The technology has sparked mixed reactions, with some questioning whether or not it is a healthy move, but during a previous appearance on a Neuralink livestream, Musk explained that it could help build a “digital superintelligence layer” to link humans with AI and greatly assist people with neurological conditions.
“If you know somebody who’s broken their neck, broken their spine — we can solve that with a chip,” Musk said. “And this is something that I think most people don’t understand yet.”
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