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    Monkey with Neuralink chip plays videogame with its mind. Know all about the technology

    Monkey with Neuralink chip plays videogame with its mind. Know all about the technology

    Monkey with Neuralink chip plays videogame with its mind. Know all about the technology
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Neuralink is a technology that helps human brains interact with machines and control them by sending and receiving signals directly.

    Neuralink, the brain chip start-up of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on Friday shared a video in which a monkey was seen playing a video game following the implants of the new technology. Neuralink shared the YouTube link to the video and a note explaining the process in the next tweet.
    Pager, the macaque monkey, has Neuralink chips implanted on each side of his brain and he plays “Mind Pong” with utmost ease. The narrator says that the money had a Neuralink implanted six weeks before the video was shot. Interestingly, Pager was trained to play it using a joystick, which is now unplugged, and now he controls the paddle simply by thinking about the direction he wants to move the joystick in.
    Musk tweeted that the first Neuralink product will allow someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs. "The device is implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look & feel totally normal," he added in another tweet.
     
    What is Neuralink?
    In simple words, Neuralink is a technology that helps human brains interact with machines and control them by sending and receiving signals directly. The N1 chipset, which is 8 mm in diameter containing multiple wires housing electrodes and insulation for the wires, will be installed in your skull surgically. It will then help the human communicate with machines and control them merely by thinking about the steps to take.
    How does it work?
    For this, let's get to the basics. What does our brain do? Our brain contains billions of nerve cells and they coordinate our thoughts, emotions, behaviour, movements, and sensation. And these nerve cells, which form part of a larger system, contribute to sending immediate signals to different parts of the body, prompting us to respond to the situation as it unfolds before our eyes.
    Similarly, the Neuralink technology, once installed in our brains, will be able to read what we are thinking and help us control the machines without even touching them or giving them any verbal instructions.
    How will it be installed?
    This is the tricky part. Since we are talking about installing a chipset, no matter how small, into a human brain. Not only has this raised concern among people but also made them think if it was even possible. Elon Musk acknowledges the complexity of the matter and says such an installation was beyond the capabilities of human hands.
    And therefore, the technology will involve the usage of specially developed robots that will carry out the precise installation of chips into the cortex, the outer covering of the surfaces of the cerebral hemispheres.
    What are the concerns?
    Despite what sounds and looks revolutionary, no technology, especially with artificial intelligence (AI) being the front and centre, is immune to hazards. First, the device has shown a great response on Pager, but no human trial has been carried out, not yet.
    One of the major concerns is that of hacking. If the device remains connected to the internet all the time, what's the guarantee that hackers won't attempt to influence or steal the data or even snooping on our thoughts?
    Such a device can’t stay in the human brain forever, right? For how long then will it remain there? Elon Musk says it will have the option of removing it, but Neuralink is looking at keeping it for at least 10 years.
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