Looks like we will see animals playing video games in future. Thanks to Neuralink!
Neuralink is a device that will be surgically implanted into your brain and with it, you’ll be able to communicate with machines and even control them. It will also help study the electrical signals in the brain and arrive at solutions that can help cure various medical problems.
This Thursday, the founder of Neuralink, Elon Musk claimed that monkeys can play pong by using their minds. According to the company, a YouTube video was posted this Friday showing a nine-year-old male macaque, named Pager, has a Neuralink device implanted in both sides of its brain.
Pager had a chip implanted in his brain six weeks ago, according to Neuralink. He was given a joystick that was connected to a video game in which he had to shift a cursor to a colored square in the video. When he pushes the cursor successfully, he is given a banana smoothie through a tube.
While Pager uses the joystick, the Neuralink chip records his brain activity and sends it back to a computer for analysis of what his brain does when he moves his hand. The joystick is then unplugged from the machine, but the monkey continues to control the game, with brain signals being relayed by the Neuralink chips.
Musk believes that someday, monkeys will be using twitch in future!
Theoretically, the same tech could be used to give people control of synthetic limbs via a Neuralink brain implant. Musk also discussed plans for the devices on Twitter on Thursday.
The first iteration of the device “will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs,” he tweeted.
“Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in the brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,” he added.
While there are some concerns! People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), for example, issued an angry response earlier this year, accusing Musk of animal cruelty and challenging the billionaire entrepreneur to “behave like a true pioneer and have the wireless implant put into his own brain instead.” PETA is yet to respond to the video posted on Thursday.
Neuralink says that any animals it uses are cared for by experts, with Musk adding that it is “extremely sensitive” with them.
However, the purpose of this device is to help paralyzed patients who, in the future will be able to control their body just by the movement of their thumbs with their smartphones which sound like a true success but will have to wait and see what happens in future.
You might be interested to know about this new robot from Boston Dynamics. Read: Boston Dynamics New Robot – Hello Stretch!