Elon Musk’s Neuralink shows a monkey brain controlling Pong

For the primary time, Elon Musk has shared video footage of his brain-chip know-how Neuralink. The implantable chip permits the brain to speak with computer systems. In a video launched late Thursday, a macaque monkey implanted with Neuralink’s know-how seems to play a Pong-style tennis online game with out utilizing a controller of any sort.

Within the video, a narrator explains that the macaque, named Pager, has two Neuralink chips implanted in his brain. These chips pull and report info from greater than 2,000 electrodes which have been positioned in Pager’s motor cortex with a purpose to register his desired hand and arm actions.

First, Pager performs a pc sport utilizing a joystick. The Neuralink chips report that info. The Neuralink wirelessly communicates neural exercise to a database, the place it’s matched with Pager’s hand actions, so it may be processed and analyzed. Then the joystick is taken away and Pager is ready as much as play the sport simply utilizing his brain. This time, the Neuralink know-how makes use of AI to estimate his desired actions primarily based on neural exercise.


Whereas compelling to observe, this know-how will not be new. Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke Faculty of Medication and founding father of the college’s Middle for Neuroengineering, conducted a similar test in 2003, although the know-how then was not but wi-fi. It ought to come as no shock that a lot of Neuralink’s work relies on Nicolelis’s pioneering brain-machine analysis. (Max Hodak, the corporate’s president, labored in Nicolelis’s lab at Duke.)

Neurlink is hoping to advance the know-how by creating higher chips and sensors in order that these implants can accumulate extra neural exercise, as defined on this report from Inverse. The objective for this know-how finally is to assist individuals who aren’t in a position to make use of standard strategies of interacting with computer systems. Because the tech evolves, Musk says, it may probably “assist paraplegics to stroll once more.”

Neuralink is considered one of many corporations investigating brain-computer interfaces. Fb is engaged on similar technology that may permit individuals to make use of their brain to sort. Not like Neuralink, Fb is utilizing a noninvasive gadget to behave as an middleman between the brain and the pc, which is to say no surgical procedure required. Microsoft is also working on analysis in brain-computer interfaces. It’s not typically that these corporations present a lot transparency on simply how a lot technological progress they’re making, although Fb did not too long ago exhibit brain-input know-how being used in a wrist wearable as part of a future AR system.

The mystique round the entire thought of direct brain management is why Neuralink’s new video has gotten a lot consideration. Nonetheless, Musk—whose visions typically far exceed current reality—has but to show that Neuralink’s know-how can do greater than play video games.