Elon Musk’s Neuralink, one of his many companies and the only one currently focused on mind control (we are aware of this), has released a new blog post and video detailing some of his recent updates – including how his hardware is used to enable a monkey to play pong only with its brain.
In the video above, Neuralink shows how it used its sensor hardware and brain implant to record a baseline of activity from this macaque (called a “pager”) while playing an on-screen game that involved a token using various Fields had to be moved by hand using a joystick. Using this baseline data, Neuralink was able to use machine learning to predict where the pager would move the physical controller and ultimately predict it accurately before the move actually took place. The researchers then removed the paddle completely and ended up doing the same thing with pong. Ultimately, they ended up in a place where Pager no longer even moved his hand in the air on the nonexistent paddle and instead completely controlled the in-game action with his mind via the link hardware and embedded neural threads.
The last time we saw Neuralink, Musk himself demonstrated the link technology live in August 2020, using pigs to show how it can read signals from the brain in response to various stimuli. This new demo with pager more clearly describes the direction technology is headed in relation to human applications, as, as the company announced on its blog, the same technology could be used to help paralyzed patients place a cursor on a Manipulate computers, for example. This could also be applied to other paradigms, according to the company, including touch controls on an iPhone and even typing with a virtual keyboard.
Musk separately tweeted that he expects the original version of Neuralink’s product will allow someone with paralysis to prevent standard modes of phone interaction from using one faster than people using their thumbs for input. He added that future iterations of the product could enable communication between neural links in different parts of a patient’s body, such as transmission between a brain node and nerve pathways in the legs, which could help paraplegics walk again. ”
These are obviously bold claims, but the company cites a lot of existing research to back up its existing demonstrations and short-term goals. Musk’s more ambitious claims, like all of his projections, should definitely be received with a healthy dose of skepticism. He added that he hopes that, for example, “hopefully later this year” human experiments will begin – which is already two years later than he originally expected them to begin.