If you thought the future wasn’t getting here fast enough, think again. In a fascinating experiment, Neuralink, the computer-brain interface company, founded by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk, has now managed to get a monkey to play pong with its mind. Yes, you read that right. A monkey can now play video games using just its mind. According to the company, the monkey was able to send brain signals wirelessly through an implanted device. The fact that no wires were used in the signal transmission is a significant breakthrough.
The monkey was first taught to play Pong using a basic controller like a joystick. After the successful completion of a task, the monkey would be rewarded with a sweet treat. The scientists recorded the data transmitted by the brain of the monkey to pinpoint exactly which neurons were firing. The scientists then disconnected the joystick and used wireless communication to allow the monkey to play the game using just its thoughts. The researchers over at Neruralink aim to use this technology to allow disabled and paralysed users to communicate with the world using their thoughts.
What this means for the future is currently unknown but we could see a lot of commercial applications for this kind of technology. Imagine controlling robots of war using just your mind or using robots to complete difficult and dangerous tasks. The technology could even enable people with paralysis to walk again. Elon Musk seems to think so. You only need to check out his Twitter feed.
First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021