Elon Musk’s latest update on Neuralink – his company which is working on a technology that will connect the human brain directly to a computer – featuring a pig with one of his chips implanted in his brain. Now Neuralink demonstrates its progress by showing a Macaque with one of the Link tokens playing Pong. At first, the use of “Pager” is displayed using a joystick, and then finally, according to the narration, using only one’s mind via the wireless connection.
Today, we are pleased to reveal the Link’s ability to allow a macaque monkey, named Pager, to move a cursor on a computer screen with neural activity using a neural recording device and data transmission system of 1024 fully implanted electrodes, called N1 Link. We implanted the Link in the areas of the hands and arms of the motor cortex, a part of the brain involved in the planning and execution of movements. We placed links bilaterally: one in the left motor cortex (which controls movement on the right side of the body) and another in the right motor cortex (which controls the left side of the body).
In an accompanying blog post, Neuralink says it builds on decades of research that developed systems connecting “a few hundred electrodes” that required a physical connector through the skin, compared to its link. N1 with 1,024 electrodes. According to Neuralink, “Our mission is to create a safe and efficient, wireless and fully implantable clinical BMI system that users can use on their own and take them wherever they go; increase the number of electrodes for better robustness and better information flow; and automate implant surgery to make it as fast and safe as possible. “
Musk, as usual, went a little further in his tweets, saying that the “first Neuralink product will allow a paralyzed person to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs … Later versions will be able to derive signals from Neuralinks in the brain to Neuralinks in groups of bodily motor / sensory neurons, thus allowing, for example, paraplegics to walk again. “