Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface neuroprosthetics company, Neuralink, shared an insane video on Thursday, of a nine-year old Macaque playing the classic game Pong—with its mind.
The monkey, Pager, had two Neuralinks installed on each side of his brain, which records electrodes from the monkey’s motor cortex. This data is sent into a decoder algorithm, which can then predict Pager’s hand movements in real-time.
In a nutshell, the monkey can then start playing Pong by just thinking about hand movements in his brain, without touching a joystick.
Soon our monkey will be on twitch & discord haha
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
The end goal for Neuralink is to allow those with paralysis to use a computer or phone with just their brain activity, alone.
As for the Neuralinks implanted into Pager’s brain? They connect via Bluetooth to an iPhone app. The implants are charged wireless with an inductive charger placed on someone’s head.
Here’s what Neuralink is developing according to its website:
Neuralink is building a fully integrated brain machine interface (BMI) system. Sometimes you’ll see this called a brain computer interface (BCI). Either way, BMIs are technologies that enable a computer or other digital device to communicate directly with the brain. For example, through information readout from the brain, a person with paralysis can control a computer mouse or keyboard. Or, information can be written back into the brain, for example to restore the sense of touch. Our goal is to build a system with at least two orders of magnitude more communication channels (electrodes) than current clinically-approved devices. This system needs to be safe, it must have fully wireless communication through the skin, and it has to be ready for patients to take home and use on their own. Our device, called the Link, will be able to record from 1024 electrodes and is designed to meet these criteria.
Yeah, this is pretty crazy. In the future, you won’t even need to touch your iPhone. You’ll be able to just think about using it with your mind.