Words: Mio Farrenden
Billionaire Elon Musk has managed to develop a product named Neuralink which allowed a monkey to play a ping pong video game with his mind.
The technology was designed with robots and people with paralysis in mind but when it is tested using a video game we can’t help but wonder…
The macaque named Pager was taught to play Pong with a normal joystick to allow Neuralink to record which neurons were firing in his brain. Once he had learned, two chips were placed on either side of Pager’s brain, allowing him to play with just his mind. He just has to think about moving his hand up and down.
Neuralink could someday be used to download memories into robots, making issues of empathy no longer a worry. It could also help people with paralysis to communicate with their thoughts. Musk said that Neuralink will “enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs”.
While this application alone is something to behold, why stop there? You can’t show us the practicalities of using this product with games and not let us dabble. Imagine a game of Counter-Strike where all you have to do is think about doing something, you’d be unstoppable versus someone using a controller or mouse and keyboard.
You may already be slightly concerned by Neuralink and perhaps you have reason to be. Musk stated that even in a benign artificial intelligence scenario we will be left behind, “with a high bandwidth brain-machine interface we will go along with the ride, we will have the option of merging with AI”.
So, yes, it is a possibility, but it’s completely down to you on whether playing Mario Kart with your mind is worth it or not! I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t want to give it a go.