Elon Musk has revealed that he’s using a form of telepathy on monkeys. The richest man in the world has a lot of power thanks to his million dollar companies and various ventures, so much so that he can afford to spend time just playing with monkeys’ brains. The billionaire has spent a lot of his time in science with SpaceX, Tesla, and Nerualink.
Musk broke the news during a live-stream event on social networking site Clubhouse Sunday. According to Musk, the monkey “looks totally normal and happy” while they play.
“We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their sk.ull, and the tiny wires, who can play video games using his mind,” Musk said during the event.
“It does not look like an u.nhappy monkey. And you can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got like a slight, like dark, Mohawk. He’s not uncomfortable, and he doesn’t look weird.”
The Nerualink CEO took to social media app Clubhouse to briefly talk about his experiment with telepathy and primates. Musk claimed that they had wired up a monkey to “play video games with his mind”. The company has implanted a wireless implant in a monkey’s s.kul.l with tiny wires, but this doesn’t seem to be causing any kinds of ethical concerns. Musk noted the monkey is happy and that an inspector from the US Department of Agriculture said their lab was “the nicest monkey facility” they had seen.
Right now, Elon Musk is just testing the limits of the technology he has access to and seeing how it can be used to form a link between different monkeys. “One of the things we’re trying to figure out is whether we can have the monkeys playing mind pong with each other? That would be pretty cool,” said Musk.
This a big step forward for Musk’s otherwise elusive firm. Neuralink was first debuted in April 2017 — the goal of the firm is to use computer-brain interfaces to allow users to remote control computers and machines with the power of thought alone. Such an interface would enable humans to develop a symbiotic relationship with super-smart A.I., Musk reasons. Ultimately, such a device is ostensibly necessary to make sure humans wouldn’t get left behind by any such A.I.
On Sunday, Musk claimed Neuralink is “making good progress,” but he also stressed any early applications of the linkup would be strictly for people with a serious brain injury.
Such experiments with monkeys are not new for Neuralink, or indeed other, similar brain-computer interfaces. In July 2019, Neuralink held its first public event at which Musk and his team detailed the N1 chip. The chip, Musk claimed, enables more refined access to the brain. Similar implants for people with Parkinson’s may use just 10 electrodes, but the N1 would use 1,024.
At the same 2019 event, Musk claimed the team had observed a monkey with the linkup controlling a computer with its brain. Musk also revealed the firm was working with the University of California, Davis, as part of its monkey experiment.