Elon Musk: Neuralink has enabled monkey to play video games with its mind

Elon Musk has announced that his brain-implant company Neuralink has allowed a monkey to play video games with its brain.

“We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull, and the tiny wires, who can play video games using his mind,” the richest man in the world said late Sunday during a two-hour interview on the app Clubhouse, which allows users to listen in on casual voice chats between others.

“One of the things we’re trying to figure out is, can we have the monkeys play mind-Pong with each other?” Musk added. “That would be pretty cool.”

Neuralink, part of Musk’s portfolio of companies, is developing a computer-brain interface so that paralyzed people can easily communicate with their cellphones or computers, the billionaire tech entrepreneur also said. He described it as “like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires.”

This monkey isn’t the only animal getting a demo version of the implant. During an August presentation, Musk said that Neuralink had installed a prototype in a pig named Gertrude, which garnered criticism from PETA, according to The New York Post.

However, the Tesla CEO asserted Sunday that the test monkey is happy and comfortable with his set-up.

“It’s not an unhappy monkey,” Musk emphasized. “You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got a slight like dark mohawk.”

“He’s not uncomfortable and he doesn’t look weird,” he also said. “When the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] came through and inspected our facilities, our monkey facilities, she said it was like the nicest monkey facilities she’s ever seen in her entire career, just FYI. We went the extra mile for the monkeys.”

While Musk did not offer any additional information or evidence demonstrating how the implant functions, he did say that Neuralink is planning to release “some new videos showing progress maybe in a month or so.”

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You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.