Elon Musk's Neuralink releases video of monkey playing Pong with its mind

midian182

Posts: 6,663   +59
Staff member
What just happened? Elon Musk's Neuralink company has just released a video of a monkey playing a video game using only his mind. The macaque is able to move the paddles in a game of Pong just by thinking about it.

As explained by the narrator, nine-year-old Pager had a Neuralink implanted in his brain around six weeks before the video was filmed. He's first seen playing a game that involves moving a cursor to a colored square that changes places on the board, rewarding him with a banana smoothie each time he performs the task successfully.

As Pager plays, the Neuralink records neuron activity. The data is used to determine which regions of the monkey's brain are firing when specific hand actions are carried out. Once the patterns are learned, the joystick is disconnected, but the monkey is still able to control the cursor because he's thinking about the movements.

Later, we see Pager playing Pong—with an impressive level of skill—using only the power of his mind.

The long-term goal for Neuralink is to allow people with limited movement to operate a computer or phone by thought alone. Musk tweeted that the company's first product would allow "someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs." He added that later versions could enable paraplegics to walk again.

"MindPong is an initial demonstration of the potential capabilities of the N1 Link," the company said in a press release. "However, it's important to remember that it is a small slice of what our device is intended to achieve."

"Our first goal is to give people with paralysis their digital freedom back: to communicate more easily via text, to follow their curiosity on the web, to express their creativity through photography and art, and, yes, to play video games," Neuralink writes on its website.

It was back in 2017 when Musk launched Neuralink to develop "consensual telepathy." The company has been relatively quiet since then, though the world's second-richest person last year said the tech would allow users to stream music directly into their brains.

During a Clubhouse meeting in February, Musk revealed that Neuralink hopes to begin human trials this year. He also mentioned a monkey "with a wireless implant in their skull who can play video games using his mind."

Permalink to story.

 

Lounds

Posts: 763   +674
This is so impressive, does anyone remember there was a neural brainwave scanner for pc gaming about 10 years ago?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,785   +3,992
Scary. Also, this is from the guy who's scared sh*tless of AI.
My thoughts exactly. Musky claims he is afraid of AI, yet he produced this brain interface, and, or so he has said in the past, he wants to plug it into his own brain to enhance his brain's potential. Apparently, Musky thinks this thing will never be hooked to a human, especially him, and to AI at the same time. If I were Musky, I would be worried that someone would hook this to AI while it was attached to my brain - thus providing a pathway for AI to control me. :rolleyes:
 

zavrix

Posts: 50   +31
Hey I know lets perfect this tech, and then once we have implant them into our new born so they can do amazing things before they can even speak yay human robots that can be hacked and controlled, what a future us humans are making for ourselves all in the name of science.
 

envirovore

Posts: 149   +344
TechSpot Elite
Really though, this is both amazing and a bit terrifying.
If they're able to accomplish the ability to have paraplegics regain mobility of limbs, that's flat out awesome.

Ability to use a device, faster than with fingers. Okay, that's some cool stuff too. That leads to the sort of terrifying 'and in doing so will be internet connected' part.

Over all I think this is neat.
 

Mawerr

Posts: 9   +5
My thoughts exactly. Musky claims he is afraid of AI, yet he produced this brain interface, and, or so he has said in the past, he wants to plug it into his own brain to enhance his brain's potential. Apparently, Musky thinks this thing will never be hooked to a human, especially him, and to AI at the same time. If I were Musky, I would be worried that someone would hook this to AI while it was attached to my brain - thus providing a pathway for AI to control me. :rolleyes:
Watch his jr interview and get educated
 

0dium

Posts: 196   +233
Really though, this is both amazing and a bit terrifying.
If they're able to accomplish the ability to have paraplegics regain mobility of limbs, that's flat out awesome.

Ability to use a device, faster than with fingers. Okay, that's some cool stuff too. That leads to the sort of terrifying 'and in doing so will be internet connected' part.

Over all I think this is neat.
And Facebook reading your thoughts for targeted ads
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,608   +691
And Facebook reading your thoughts for targeted ads
Massive permanent bans.
"Your thoughts are violations of our terms of service. Therefore, you are hitherto permanently banned from the use of our network of services. However, you must Elect Out from our ad services that provide personalized ads through our partnership with industry OS and browser providers. These services cannot be removed for other OS and browser components may not function properly and are dependent upon Facebook's ads services."
 
This is so impressive, does anyone remember there was a neural brainwave scanner for pc gaming about 10 years ago?
I remember being at Atari in 1982, and a company trying to sell them a "brainwave controller" headband device. Their proprietary demo seemed to kind of move a cursor back-and-forth on the screen depending on your thoughts and intention. Everyone was amazed that, although it was noisy, it actually worked when even the uninitiated drove it.

But it turned out they were measuring the mechanical tension in the muscles in the user's forehead ("headband"), and using that to decide when to hop the cursor. Completely fake. (Unless you count motor neuron firings as an extension of the brain's neural net...) Once you knew the secret, you could make it work even better by kind of 'winking your eye without winking it' on the side of your head in the direction you wanted to move the cursor.

Could the peripheral you recall be similar?
 
Last edited: