Neurlalink’s demo shows telepathic typing of a monkey

Neuralink owner Elon Musk said that documentation for human trials has been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which he says could lead to human trials of the technology. of the company’s brain implant “in about six months.”

Neuralink, which Musk founded in 2016, is developing a system that directly connects the human brain with a computer interface. He believes that technology, some of which is implanted directly into the brain, will one day allow the human mind to control devices and programs simply through thought, potentially opening up a whole new world for people with brain disorders and conditions such as paralysis. .

In April 2021, Neuralink demonstrated early tests of the technology by showing a monkey playing Pong just by thinking about it.

This time, in a special show-and-tell event held on Wednesday night, a new video showed a different monkey using thought processes to move a mouse cursor around a keyboard while making selections to create words. . Describing the monkey’s actions as “telepathic typing,” Musk said the demonstration raises the possibility that “someone with no interface to the outside world [being able] control your phone better than someone with working hands.” You can see the monkey in action in the following video:

Musk said he believed Neuralink’s technology was now at a point where human testing would be safe, going so far as to say that if one of his own children were to be in an accident where Neuralink’s technology could help, he would ” I would feel comfortable” going ahead with the implant, adding: “At least in my opinion, it wouldn’t be dangerous.”

The Neuralink co-founder has previously said that future, more advanced versions of the technology may even work in a way that allows paraplegics to walk again.

But, of course, regulators will have the final say on its use, and Neuralink hopes to get the green light from the FDA next year to take its technology to the next level.

Musk was also willing to address animal welfare concerns during the presentation. He described the monkeys using Neuralink as “happy” and said they are not “straight to a chair” when performing tasks that also involve regular food-based rewards. He added that before considering placing a Neuralink device inside an animal’s brain, “we do our best with rigorous laboratory testing, so we are not arrogant when placing devices in animals. We are extremely careful and we always want the device, every time we do the implant, to be confirmatory, not exploratory.”

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