Cyberpunk may be set in 2077 but Elon Musk wants to get the ball rolling on human brain implants in 2021.
The CEO recently updated his followers on social media platform Clubhouse about his neurotechnology company, Neuralink. He said that the team had managed to place a wireless implant into a monkey’s skull which allowed it to play video games with only its mind.
“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… One of the things we’re trying to figure out is can we have the monkeys play mind ‘Pong’ with each other. That would be pretty cool,” he declared.
This isn’t the first instance of an animal receiving a trial implant from Neuralink. Last year a pig named Gertrude was given a brain-monitoring device that allowed scientists to monitor the animal’s brain activity wirelessly.
Next step: human trials
This latest development is a pretty big step for Neuralink. So much so that Musk said they were hoping to begin human trials later this year.
“Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety and is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year,” he told a volunteer who reached out to him on Twitter.
Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 1, 2021
While the human trials haven’t started yet there was no shortage of volunteers in the comments.
Neuralink is working on brain-machine interfaces to connect humans with computers. The idea is that this technology will eventually help people with spinal injuries and paralysis.
But don’t be mistaken, Musk’s grand plan also involves human and AI symbiosis. Insert your favourite sci-fi movie here.
You can learn more about what to expect from Neuralink’s implants in this cool behind the scenes video.
If things go according to plan, we could all be living in the “hopefully good version of Cyberpunk” (his words, not mine) very soon.