Elon Musk has given a rare update on his brain chip start-up Neuralink, claiming that the company has put an implant in a monkey that lets it play video games.
Updates on Elon Musk’s brain chip start up Neuralink have been few and far between in recent months; however the superstar CEO has offered a rare glimpse into their recent works; claiming the company has implanted a monkey with a chip that lets it play video games.
Elon Musk confirmed yesterday via Twitter that Neuralink had successfully performed the implant procedure on the animal to place a wireless transceiver in its brain, enabling it to ‘play video games with his mind’.
Obviously mindful that animal experimentation could have some very dire public relations issues, Musk also reassured listeners that the monkey was definitely “living his best life”, commenting that “he’s a happy monkey” and also adding that “‘We have the nicest monkey facilities in the world. We want them to play mind-Pong with each other”
Neuralink had previously made headlines last summer when Musk revealed a pig named Gertrude that had been implanted with one of the companies brain chips. That experiment had been limited to proving that it was in fact possible to place the implant inside an animal without harming it; however if Musk’s claims are to be believed then this video game-playing monkey could show that Neuralink’s implants can be used to actually alter brain function.
Musk was also keen to stress that the startup has far more serious ambitions than just doing away with the need for video game controllers. Neuralink is one of a number of companies working on developing brain implant technology, which it is hoped will eventually help to reduce or even reverse the impact of neurological and spinal injuries. Musk also repeated his claim that Neuralink’s implants will go further than current devices that leave ‘wires sticking out of your head,’ instead describing it as ‘like a Fitbit in your skull’. Musk also
With no studies or technical specifications published yet to back up Neuralink’s animal experiments, at the moment we’re all just going to have to take Elon Musk’s word for it that these chips actually work, although he has promised that videos showing the monkey in action should be released in the coming weeks.