Ah yes, monkeys, our ancestors, as some people believe have a physique similar to humans so they are mostly the guinea pigs for all the weird prototype technologies we come up with. Talk about primate rights. Among these technologies, ways for the brain to interact directly with computers are extensively being researched with Neuralink now at the helm.
Neuralink is a brain-implant start founded by SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. The startup’s goal is to figure out the whole brain-computer interface technology. Neuralink had revealed two devices they were working on back in August 2020, which Musk dubbed as a “Fitbit for your skull”.
This Thursday Musk tweeted saying that their first product could even help paralyzed people use smartphones.
These the use of these two devices and their potential has been showcased in a new video, showing a nine-year-old monkey called Pager playing pong, displayed on a TV screen, with his mind. Now that’s innovation. Pager was trained to use a joystick to interact with the computer in exchange for a banana smoothie delivered through a straw. Like, I could do that as well you know.
The narrator in the video sheds some light on what the devices actually do saying that the Neuralink devices in his brain, read his brain activity and that activity is then decoded by the computer. While he plays the game, the team subtly disconnects the joystick, and Pager unknowingly still plays the game. This time, however, through the brain implants.
MindPong, as dubbed by the narrator aptly shows the potential for their new technology. You can view the entire video below.