Elon Musk’s Neuralink: Elon Musk’s Neuralink, which had been started back in 2017, seems to be making progress as per a new video that the company has recently released. The company aims to build an interface that would connect the human brains with machines, and now, it has shown the results of the interface in a macaque monkey called Pager. Neuralink’s new video shows Pager playing a game of Pong using its brain. In a statement, Neuralink, which has mostly kept the developments it works on secretive, said that Pager was able to move a computer cursor simply with neural activity with the help of a 1,024-electrode fully-implanted neural recording and data transmission device.
The device has been called the N1 Link by the company, and it was implanted in Pager’s hand and arm areas of the motor cortex, which is the part of the brain controlling movements.
The video showed Pager operating a joystick for moving an on-screen cursor, while the brain implant and the sensor hardware collected the baseline of activity. The Neuralink used machine learning to then anticipate where Pager intended to make its next move. Eventually, the joystick was entirely removed and Pager was playing its game of Pong hands-free.
Neuralink Co-Founder and tech mogul Elon Musk also shared the demonstration in a post on microblogging site Twitter.
A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
In the video, the company said that Pager was focused on the game and it wasn’t magic that he was able to do it using its mind, but it was because of the recording and decoding of the brain signals that Neuralink was undertaking.
The company chose to use Pager for this because it needed to employ an animal model which allowed the development of hand and arm-based cortical brain-machine interface (BMI). Using the rhesus macaque-based model allowed the company to design, validate as well as advance the performance and robustness of a closed-loop motor BMI.
The aim of Neuralink’s BMI is to improve the quality of life of those individuals who suffer from neurological disorders.