By placing two implants in the monkey’s brain, new startup Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, managed to get the animal to run the computer game Pong using its brain. Neuralink shows this in a great video shared on Friday.
In the first part of the experiment, the Ranger macaque controls the joystick to move the cursor to the colored boxes on the screen in front of it. The animal is rewarded each time with the banana juice that it drinks through a straw. The animal’s brain activity is measured and the joystick is detached after some time. At that point, Ranger is in full control of the onscreen cursor with his brain. When after the legendary computer game Bong He started, and he succeeded in playing that too without the joystick, thus just using his brain. The computer knows from the stored data what each monkey brain activity means.
The goal of Neuralink is to test whether paralyzed people can still operate a computer or smartphone with similar implants. By thinking about what they want to do, they send signals to the computer, and the algorithm created by Neuralink will respond to that and perform the activity.