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A Monkey Playing Video Games: Elon Musk’s First Neuralink Milestone

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink has just shown the world the first results of its brain chips that it has been working on since 2017.

The company has published a surprising three-minute video in which you can see a monkey being able to play a ping-pong video game (the mythical Atari Pong) controlling it only with his mind, thanks to a brain implant. The company explains that the animal, named Pager, had the Neuralink device implanted in the brain a couple of months ago.

After Pager learned to interact with a computer using a joystick, the chip recorded his brain activity. This data was decoded and when the team removed the joystick, the chip implanted in the macaque’s brain allowed it to play the same game through its thoughts.

Elon Musk was quick to take to Twitter to show his enthusiasm for the discovery. “A monkey is literally playing a video game by telepathy using a brain chip!” Said the mogul. “The first Neuralink product will allow someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone who uses their thumbs. Even later versions will be able to divert signals from Neuralinks in the brain to Neuralinks in clusters of motor and sensory neurons in the body, thus allowing paraplegic people to walk again, ”he added.

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

Musk introduced Neuralink in August of last year and described it as “a Fitbit in your skull with little wires.” According to the company, the chip has sensors that appear in wearables or smart watches. Play music, and it can prevent heart attacks. A robot performs the surgery to insert it and there is no bleeding. At the moment it is not clear when human tests will begin.

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