Is there some monkey business going on here?
Elon Musk’s neuroscience start-up Neuralink has launched a video that appears to show a primate playing Pong utilizing only the power of its mind.
The approximately three-and-a-half minute video reveals Pager, a 9-year-old macaque monkey who had two wireless neural recording and information transmission gadgets implanted in his brain about six weeks before the clip was shot. Pager drinks a banana smoothie through a metal straw while utilizing a joystick to navigate the Pong paddles on screen– however it turns out, that joystick isn’t plugged in. The laboratory declares in a blog post that Pager is in fact moving the paddles utilizing his brain activity by means of Neuralink implants.
View him here:
So how was this established? Pager has actually been trained to play videogames using a joystick, and getting a banana healthy smoothie as a benefit. And in the beginning, Neuralink’s cordless N1 Link gadgets recorded which nerve cells were firing while Pager ran the joystick. Neuralink created a mathematical model of the relationship between the pattern of Pager’s neural activity, and the different joystick movements that this brain activity was producing. Then, after the Hyperlinks learned to anticipate Pager’s hand motions, the joystick was disconnected from the game. And while Pager continues moving the joystick out of habit, the Link devices in his brain are actually moving the cursor throughout the screen.
For this reason, a monkey playing videogames with his mind– or as one commenter split, “Next video: Donkey Kong plays Donkey Kong,” referring to Nintendo’s renowned game including an extra-large ape throwing barrels.
From the archives: Elon Musk’s Neuralink displays brain-computer interface
The laboratory hopes to continue establishing its brain implants so that one day the devices can assist paralyzed individuals run computer systems and mobile devices using their brain activity. Musk, the CEO of Tesla TSLA, +0.13%, shared that mission declaration on Twitter TWTR, -2.22% on Thursday night, tweeting that the Neuralink gadgets might one day assistance someone with paralysis use a mobile phone quicker than a non-disabled individual using their thumbs.
This builds on previous “mind control” developments, such as a quadriplegic featured in the journal Science in 2015 who was able to drink a beer utilizing a mind-controlled robotic arm. And in 2006, a paralyzed guy named Matthew Nagle moved a cursor on a computer, and likewise managed a Television Set and a robotic using just his ideas via a small sensor implanted in his brain.
In February, Musk said that human trials at Neuralink might begin as early as this year.