Neuralink called the experiment an “initial demonstration of the potential capabilities” of its high-tech brain chips — though it’s unclear whether the results will be peer-reviewed by scientists or published in an academic journal.
The 9-year-old macaque named Pager had two of Neuralink’s devices planted in his brain about six weeks before the company shot the three-and-a-half-minute video.
Pager learned to interact with a computer while sucking a banana smoothie through a straw as a reward, according to the clip. As he used a joystick to move a cursor to a target on the screen, a devices recorded activity from the neurons responsible for his hand movements and streamed them to a computer algorithm that decoded them, Neuralink says.
After training the algorithm, Pager was able to ditch the joystick and play “mind Pong” just by thinking about his hand moving up or down, according to the video.
Later versions of Neuralink’s chip could link devices planted in the brain to others elsewhere in the body, “thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,” Musk claimed.
Pager isn’t the only critter Neuralink has used to test its gadgets. The company previously installed a prototype in a pig named Gertrude to demonstrate its ability to transmit neural signals.
Source: New York Post