Story at a glance

  • Musk on Sunday said his company Neuralink put a wireless implant in a monkey’s brain.
  • He said the technology enabled the monkey to play video games with his mind.
  • “You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got a slight like dark mohawk,” he said.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claims one of his startups has wired up a monkey’s brain so it can play video games with its mind. 

During an interview on the private social app Clubhouse on Sunday, Musk provided an update on his company Neuralink. The startup is aiming to develop brain-machine interfaces for the ambitious goal of helping humans keep pace with advanced artificial intelligence. The technology could eventually treat people with spinal or brain injuries and supplement human brain power. 


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The billionaire likened the technology to being like “a Fitbit in your skull.” 

“We have a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull with tiny wires who can play video games with his mind,” Musk told thousands of listeners. “You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got a slight like dark mohawk.” 

“He’s a happy monkey,” Musk added. 

Musk said that Neuralink is working to figure out if it can use the implantable chips to get monkeys to play “mind pong” with each other. The entrepreneur said Neuralink will likely be releasing videos showing the company’s progress in the next month or so. 

Neuralink has been testing such interfaces on animals for years. The company last year showcased pigs with computer chips in their brains. The demonstration involved displaying real-time neural signals from one of the pigs. 

Musk said the first thing the company is working toward is a wireless implantable chip that would enable a person with quadriplegia or paraplegia to control a computer mouse, their phone, “or really any device” just by thinking. 

“This obviously would be a massive enabler; make life easier for them,” Musk said. 

Musk has said the technology could potentially help fight memory loss, blindness, paralysis and other medical conditions. 


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Published on Feb 01, 2021