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Neuralink, a startup set up by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, has wired up a monkey to play videogames with its mind, Bloomberg reports, citing an online discussion led by Musk on the Clubhouse app.
The progress could have many farther-reaching implications, including in Tesla’s autosummoning feature, which Musk has promised owners could accomplish by just thinking about it.
“We have a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull with tiny wires who can play video games with his mind,” Musk said. “You can’t see where the implant is and he’s a happy monkey. We have the nicest monkey facilities in the world. We want them to play mind-Pong with each other.”
“There are primitive versions of this device with wires sticking out of your head, but it’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires that go into your brain,” he added, referring to the interface.
Neuralink, in which Musk has invested at least $100 million so far, was set up with the idea of helping people with spinal and brain injuries by linking their brains directly with computers, allowing them to see, communicate, and manipulate objects.
Last year, Musk broadcast a live demo of the interface device, implanted in several pigs. He explained at the time that the implant sounded tones when the nerves in the pig’s snout sparked electrical impulses that the device then picked up.
Also last year, speaking about the benefits of the Neuralink implant, Musk said Tesla owners would be able to summon their cars by just thinking about it. What may sound like the start of the era of cyborgs would be “easy,” according to him.
Human trials of the Neuralink brain implant are in the future, but the company is working closely with the FDA to prepare for them.
According to Musk, who is an outspoken skeptic of the benevolence of artificial intelligence, integrating human brains with computers would be the way to “beat” AI should it become autonomous at some point.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.