San Francisco | A monkey managed to play the video game Bong With no other control device than his brain power, thanks to a connected chip implanted into his skull by Neuralink, the young Elon Musk company.
In a video released by the company on Friday, the Macaque Pager can be seen controlling the racket’s movements with its own eyes to prevent the ball from falling into a void, as one can use or with the joystick or touch screen. keyboard.
The future businessman, who is also the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted: “The monkey plays a video game via telepathy thanks to a chip in its brain.”
Neuralink welcomes the breakthrough, and is another step towards its first goal: “To enable paralyzed people to directly use their nervous activity to control computers and mobile devices easily and in real time.”
Last August, the young company presented pigs in which it planted a prototype of a wireless chip, with a diameter of 23 mm and a thickness of 8 mm (like a small coin).
The company’s engineers collect neural signals from chips implanted on computers – while Pager plays video games with a joystick, for example. Analyzing its signals makes it possible to train machines and advance in controlling computers with thought.
Elon Musk hopes that Neuralink chips will be used primarily to help people who are paralyzed or have neurological diseases. But the long-term goal is to make implants safe, reliable, and simple to qualify for (comfortable) elective surgery.
People can then spend a few thousand dollars equipping their brains with computing power.
Other interfaces between the brain and the machine are under development. Facebook is funding a project to translate brain activity into words, via algorithms, to allow people silenced by neurodegenerative diseases to speak again.