Tesla Chief Elon Musk reveals that his startup, Neuralink, has wired up a monkey so that it can play video games using its mind. Musk said his company Neuralink did so by implanting a computer chip into the skull of the monkey and connecting tiny wires to its brains. Mr Musk said videos of the wired monkey would be released perhaps soon. 

Elon Musk explains what Neuralink is up to

Headquartered in California, Neuralink is a team of about 100 people who are trying to develop an “implantable computer-brain interface”. Musk said the goal of this startup is to increase the rate at which data can flow from the human brain to a machine. 

Facilities at Neuralink meet regulatory requirements of the United States, said Musk during a talk on Clubhouse, a new invite-only social media app. He further added that the chip implanted can’t even be seen, except that the monkey has got a slight like dark mohawk. He is a happy monkey and they have the world’s nicest monkey facilities, Musk explained. 

He further explained that the idea with neural links is addressing spinal and brain injuries and making up lost capacity of the people with an implanted chip. 

There are simple and not fully developed versions of this device with wires sticking out of the head, but it is like a “Fitbit in your skull” with tiny wires that go inside your brain,” he said.

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Twitter’s response to Musk’s big reveal

Though the news sounds like a step towards the innovation of a great technology, Twitteratis (Twitter users) did not take this news well and quickly connected the scenario with the ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy. A quick summary of the trilogy: The movies involve coming up with a cure for Alzheimer and testing them on monkeys. After the project is terminated, a new-born monkey is adopted by a scientist. The monkey grows up to be super-intelligent and at first, harmless. Later, all hell breaks loose and the monkey manages to free the fellow primates which results in a clash with the law enforcement in an attempt to escape into the woods, but not before causing damage to human beings. Getting reminded by this fictional plot, following was said on the platform:

Musk, who has also spoken about colonization on Mars, cryptocurrency, space travel, Artificial Intelligence and Covid-19 vaccines, said that his startup Neuralink is dedicated to trying to figure if it can use its computer chips to get monkeys to play mind Pong with each other.

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Image Courtesy: Steve Jurvetson from Flickr