Neuralink and the monkey that plays with mind

Neuralink

We saw many experiments where the monkeys play with videogames. But have you ever seen a monkey playing with the mind? It’s possible thanks to Neuralink, a chip implanted in the brain created by Elon Musk. Let’s discover together what it is.

What is Neuralink

Neuralink is an american company founded in the 2016 by Elon Musk, which works in the field of the neuro technologies.

Neuralink
Neuralink – “a FitBit deep inside our skull”

Especially, the company studies a special chip that, if implanted in the human brain, promises to connect the human beings to the machines, with amazing implications, starting from the cure of many diseases.

Even if this technology appears extremely creepy, infact, it has in reality incredible advantages. With it, infact, the alzheimer might disappear and even the depression can be easily cured.

The prodigious cures don’t finish here. The chip, infact, will help the elderly with senile dementia. But the most astonishing thing is that it promises to give back a normal life to who suffered severe spinal injuries.

Elon Musk calls it “a FitBit deep inside our skull” and he asked to the Food and Drug Amministration the permission to start with the human experimentation. Meanwhile, though, he made a monkey playing with the mind.

Look: a monkey playing with the mind!

At the beginning of february Elon Musk announced to his followers via ClubHouse that inside his labs of Neuralink there was a monkey playing Pong with the mind.

MindPong
The classic videogame was re-called, for the occasion, MindPong

After two months he gave even the proof of it: a video shows a monkey-cyborg (it was called like that because of the chip implanted in the brain) playing with the old pc game.

Pager is a nine years old macaco involved in a match to the classic game Pong. The extraordinary thing is that he does it without move a finger, the interaction between the monkey and the pc is completely telematics.

The experiment of Neuralink step by step

Six weeks before the video, the team that works to the project implanted the chip of Neuralink in the brain of Pager. After that Pager started to play with the special version of the videogame, which was re-called MindPong.

Pager
Pager was very good and its successes were awarded

At the beginning the monkey learnt to play by using a controller. The successes of Pager were awarded with a banana smoothie.

When Pager learnt to play to the videogame they took out the joystick. But the six weeks were not used only to learnt to Pager to play but even, and especially, to the chip of Neuralink tgat she had implanted in the brain.

Match after match, infact, the artificial intelligence, through the 1024 elettrodes of the sensor, was able to map the neurons that activate in correspondence to every single movement.

The experiment was a success. During the video, infact, Pager played by using only the mind and only once she wasn’t able to send back the ball.

Waiting for the human experimentation

Elon Musk is looking forward to proceed with the human experimentation to see the prodigious of his chip. He continously says it in his tweets.

Until this year we will start the tests to implant the module Neuralink in the human brain”. And so: “The first prototype of Neuralink will allow to a paralyzed  person to use a smartphone with the mind, much faster than someone that uses the thumbs”.

The next versions, instead, will allow, for example, to the paraplegic to walk again”.

During the years the implant was improved and refined and now it’s ready for the human experimentation.

The last january a paralyzed user twitted to Elon by proposing himself as a tester and the CEO promptly answered: “Neuralink is working very hard to guarantee the safety of the implant and it’s talking with the Fda. If it will go well, we will be able to do the first tests on the human beings until the end of the year”.

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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