Neuralink is the company of the future that is currently working on mind control technology and has recently demonstrated a rhesus macaque monkey, named ‘Pager’ playing Ping pong with only its brain and no external hardware or even hand gestures involved. This is a huge success for Neuralink and Elon Musk.
Pager was reportedly implanted with the Neuralink N1 device which is 1,024-electrode data transmission and neural link recording device. The company has shared a video and a blog post demonstrating the whole process of how it got the monkey to move the cursor with only its mind and what future prospects could this technology hold.
Neuralink says that it has implanted the N1 Link in the arm and hand section of the motor cortex that is a part of the brain involved with planning and executing movements. As we know that the left side of our brains control the right side of our body and vice versa. Neuralink has implanted two devices, one on the right motor cortex to control the left body movements and one on the left motor cortex to control the right body movements.
Elon Musk and his company were able to anticipate the movement of the monkey before he even moved the controller, this was made possible with the help of Neuralink’s Machine Learning capabilities. The device could indicate to the system, the would-be movement of the monkey before it actually did. As mentioned in the blog post, later, the researchers completely removed the paddle from the experiment and Pager was able to move the cursor without the need of any equipment, with nothing but only his mind. Eventually, the monkey got to a stage where it no longer was making any hand gestures and still moving the cursor with only his brain, perfectly controlling the in-game action with his mind through the embedded neural threads and the N1 Link device.
A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!
Neuralink shared in its blog post that this technology could be used on Paralyzed patients who will then be able to conduct simple tasks with only their mind without the use of any external help or gesture. According to the company, there are endless opportunities with this N1 Link devise, users can also touch control their iPhones for typing on virtual keyboards.
The company claims that their first-generation N1 device can be helpful for patients struggling with paralysis who have restricted hand movements already, preventing stranded hand movements. This is actually proved to be true as we saw Pager play ping pong with only its mind in the latest video released by Neuralink. The report also added that the future iterations of the device would also enable connection and communication between Neuralinks in different parts of the body, transmitting neural pathways and in-brain nodes in legs for instance, in the case of a paraplegic patient. This technology by Neuralink and Elon Musk would make it possible for such patients to walk back again on their own two feet with the help of an implanted Neuralink device. The company hopes to begin human trials as soon as this year!
First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs