Neuralink, the brain machine interface company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has published a YouTube video of a macaque monkey called Pager playing the video game Pong with its mind. The 3 minute 27 second video, shared by Musk on Twitter late Thursday, appears to show the monkey controlling a computer with its brain activity.
“A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip,” Musk wrote on Twitter. In the video, a narrator attempts to explain how Pager is able to play Pong with his mind. The nine-year-old monkey, which had two Neuralink devices put on each side of his brain about six weeks ago, learned how to use a joystick to move a cursor to targets on a screen in exchange for a banana smoothie delivered through a straw, the narrator says. This was possible due to the more than 2,000 tiny wires implanted in the regions of his motor cortex that co-ordinate hand and arm movements. Its brain signals were sent wirelessly via an implanted device. The joystick was disconnected, leaving the monkey to control gameplay with its mind only. The hope is that the interface could eventually allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers remotely.