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Elon Musk Says Neuralink Startup Has Created Brain Implant That Enables Monkey To Play Video Games

Neuralink ultimately aims to develope a wireless interface that would enable people to control devices with thought.

Video source: YouTube, Neuralink

Elon Musk said his brain-implant startup has wired up a monkey’s brain to “play video games with his mind.”

During an interview late Sunday with social media app Clubhouse, the technology billionaire chatted about San Francisco-based Neuralink Corporation’s efforts to develop a high-tech, wireless interface that would enable people to control computers or cellphones just by thinking.

Musk did not provide any other details on how the monkey’s implant works but described it as “a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires.” He also said Neuralink plans to release new videos “showing some progress in maybe a month or so.”

“You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in. He’s not uncomfortable and he doesn’t look weird,” added Musk, who went on to mention that an inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture described the company’s laboratory as “the nicest monkey facility” they had ever examined.

“We went the extra mile for the monkeys,” Musk said. “One of the things we’re trying to figure out [is] can we have the monkeys playing mind Pong with each other? That would be pretty cool.”

Neuralink, which Musk founded in 2016, is eventually hoping to implant chips into human brains. Longer-term goals include “human-AI symbiosis,” which the CEO dubbed “conceptual telepathy.”

In the short term, it plans to focus on how the technology might help those who have experienced brain and spine injuries, or have ailments such as depression, anxiety, memory loss or dementia. 

"I want to be clear the early applications will really just be for people who have a serious brain injury [where] the value of the implant is just enormous,” Musk said.

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Source: Equities News