Elon Musk posted a video of a monkey performing “telepathic typing” at Neuralink’s show-and-tell session.
The monkey appears to type words on a screen using only his mind in the demo video, due to an implanted brain chip. Musk explained quickly that the monkey was using his mind to move the computer mouse to highlight keys to spell out what the computer program wanted him to write.
A brief about Elon Musk’s brain-chip business has released video showing a monkey telepathically ‘typing.’
“Technically, he can’t spell, so I don’t want to oversell this.” Musk stated.
The startup’s inventor stated that the video demonstrates how the Neuralink implant may assist quadriplegics to use their phones, claiming that those with the brain chip “would be able to control their phone better than someone who has working hands.”
A spokeswoman for Neuralink did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
Musk co-founded Neuralink, a brain-computer interface business, in 2016. The billionaire has previously stated that Neuralink’s chips, which are coin-sized gadgets designed to be implanted in the brain through a surgical robot, could one day cure paralysis and grant humans psychic abilities, referring to the device as “a Fitbit in your skull.”
Neuralink produced a demo film last year that purported to show a monkey playing the video game “Pong” with only its mind. The previous year, Neuralink released a film that seemed to be neural readouts from a chip placed in a pig.
Musk also used the video to address an activist group’s complaints about Neuralink’s treatment of its monkey test subjects. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine announced earlier this year that it had discovered evidence proving the monkeys suffered “severe pain as a result of insufficient animal care and the highly intrusive experimental head implants used during the research.” The animal rights organization demanded that Musk provide information about the monkey studies ahead of the Neuralink event.
“It’s vital to demonstrate that Sake [the monkey] enjoys doing the demo and is not strapped to the chair or anything,” Musk said on Wednesday, adding that “the monkeys truly love doing the demos” because they are rewarded with banana smoothies and other fruits.
Sake is given a handful of grapes in the video, and the monkey appears to suck on a metal feeding straw.
According to the Neuralink creator, human trials will begin within the next six months, pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. The billionaire further stated that once the device is ready, he intends to receive his own brain implant. Musk has frequently set and missed his own forecasts for when Neuralink’s devices would be implanted in human brains in 2019.