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Elon Musk's Neuralink Trained This Monkey To Play Pong With His Mind

The billionaire is trying to get two monkeys to play a game of "mind Pong," and it has worked with one so far.


Elon Musk's company Neuralink has created a system that it promised could let a monkey play video games with its mind. As it turns out, that's exactly what it can do, and this special monkey is extremely good at Pong.

Using Neuralink implants in his brain, a monkey called Pager was able to control the right paddle in a Pong game using only his mind. By thinking about where he wanted the paddle to go, it moved, and he was able to control it with pretty impressive accuracy. Even at a faster speed, the technology worked for keeping Pager in the game.

The Tesla founder previously revealed this in a recent discussion on Clubhouse, where he announced that his team at Neuralink put a chip inside the monkey's head and connected it to its brain using "tiny wires," Musk said, as reported by CNBC.

"It's not an unhappy monkey," Musk said. "You can't even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he's got a slight like dark mohawk."

The idea here is to ascertain if it's possible for monkeys to play a game of "mind Pong" together. "That would be pretty cool," the billionaire said previously. He later added, probably jokingly, that Pager could end up on Discord and Twitch.

The company is designing what it claims to be the world's first neural implant that allows you to control a device with your mind. This is called a brain-machine-interface (BMI), and Musk is not alone in believing it could be the future.

Valve boss Gabe Newell also believes that such technology could prove to be one of the next steps that humans take as it relates to technology-driven evolution.

"We're working on an open source project so that everybody can have high-resolution [brain signal] read technologies built into headsets, in a bunch of different modalities," Newell told TVNZ in January.

In the context of video games, Newell said such technology could be used to determine if a player is excited, sad, bored, or surprised and then have the game in question adapt as a result. Newell also said he predicts a future where the real world will seem too boring and dull compared to what's possible with brain-machine-interface systems.

"The real world will seem flat, colourless, blurry compared to the experiences you'll be able to create in people's brains," he said.

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