The objective of the Neuralink company is to create an implant that can be placed in the brain to improve our abilities in certain tasks, or to recover some loss due to an accident. The tests go slowly, but from time to time some really striking ones are published, like the one of the monkey playing Pong.
Neuralink is focused on mind control, although Elon Musk has already said on several occasions that he does not imagine a future in which our brains do not have a major update integrating with Artificial Intelligence.
Now they have published a new update, with details of the hardware that has made it possible for a monkey to play pong with only his brain, without using his hands (seen from minute two).
In this video you can see how he used his sensor hardware and his brain implant to record a baseline of monkey activity. The game is very basic, since in the first phase you use your hand to put a ball inside a colored square, but in the second part you use only your brain to play Pongo.
Thanks to the first phase, Neuralink was able to use machine learning to better understand the monkey’s behavior, eventually being able to accurately predict it before movement was actually made. The researchers then removed the control entirely and eventually did the same with Pong.
Watching an animal control a game with its mind is truly amazing. We recently saw pigs using the device, but this time the ultimate goal of what it intends is even clearer. The same technology could be used to help paralyzed patients manipulate a cursor on a computer, for example.
The future is already here.