Neuralink's latest monkey brain chip demo explained
3:33

Neuralink's latest monkey brain chip demo explained

Science
As you can see, Pager is amazingly good at mind pump. In 2020 it was a pig with a chip in its brain, in 2021, it's a monkey playing video game. Elon Musk's neural link has just unveiled its latest brain computer interface showing a nine year old monkey named pager controlling a game of Pong with its mind all thanks to a neural link chip implanted in each side of its brain. [MUSIC] Demos start simple enough, the monkey plays a simple game on screen using a joystick. If he moves the joystick the right way he gets a banana smoothie. But all the while the game is using the chip inside the monkey's brain to train a computer to understand his movement. The Neuralink chips are surgically implanted inside Pager's skull. They connect to his brain via more than 2,000 electrodes. Each one about 1/20 the width of a human hair and implanted in the regions of his brain that control hand and arm movement. Each time the monkey moves his hand left or right, that movement begins as an electrical signal in his brain, an impulse that eventually sends the message down his arm to move his hand. But the neural link implants read these signals while they're still inside the brain before the monkey has even moved, when the movements are still just intentions. Chips are connected via Bluetooth to a computer that reads the brain signals in real time and matches them to the monkey's hand movements. And here's the wild part. When the team disconnects the joystick, the computer can still predict where the monkey is going to move his hand. No joystick required. After only a few minutes of calibration, we can use the output from the decoder to move the cursor instead of the joystick. Pages still move the joystick out of habit, but as you can see it's unplugged. He's controlling the cursor entirely with decoded neural activity. Eventually the monkey wasn't even using the joystick anymore. He was playing a game of pong, just using his mind. And this is when we got a hint of how Neurolink could be used in human patients. Instead of using a joystick, a person with paralysis could train a computer simply by imagining an action. That brain signal could be picked up in real time by their neural link implant. In a tweet shortly after the monkey video was posted. Neural link founder Elon Musk said the first human neural link would allow someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone at using their thumbs from their Musk said later versions of the neural link. Could be used to shunt brain signals to separate clusters of neural links in the body, potentially allowing paraplegics to walk again. Of course, these are all very lofty goals and a long way of watching a monkey play Pong. But then again, the new demonstration is already a long way from what we saw in 2020 with Gertrude the pig [SOUND] That Neuralink was just rating the pig's neural signals as it snuffed through the straw. This new demo showed us a far more advanced brain computer interface. A brain literally inter Facing with a computer game in real time. We may not have a timeline on a human neural link implant, but from this latest demonstration, our sci-fi future might not be that far off. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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