Neuralink is expanding its development in progressive wireless brain implants thereby allowing humans to instantaneously connect to computer networks.
Neuralink researchers displayed videos of Pager, a rhesus monkey, who is able to play a quintessential paddle game with the use of thought signals exclusively. Neuralink’s MindPong video went viral in April, making viewers frenzy. It was intense and mind-boggling, to say the least.
Nathan Copeland, a paralyzed man with brain implant, challenges Pager the monkey to a game of mind Pong. Copeland is paralyzed due to a car crash, yet he still possesses some limited mobility in both shoulder and hand; he is able to use a computer and a trackpad by typing with the side of his fist. Nathan says he enjoys playing with his mind.
Copeland’s brain implant, which is not the work of Neuralink, is called a “Utah array”; he has had it since 2020. Nathan works with a team at Pittsburgh University periodically and tries on new experiments where he moves his robotic arms and utilizes computers via implant.
Ever since, he has been capable of using the implant to do little tasks, such as internet browsing, and draw pictures using digital painting applications.
Nathan has been playing video games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, with the help of a new brain implant that was implanted last year (and not Neuralink). However, he got incredibly overwhelmed after watching Neuralink’s video of their rhesus monkey playing Pong using a brain implant.
“As soon as I saw it, I said ‘I wonder if I could beat that monkey,’” Copeland told MIT Tech. in an interview.
If Neuralink responds to this challenge positively, this could be a massive deal on the concept and development of brain implant technology. Monkey business aside, this will significantly affect and enhance the lives of individuals with constricted mobility.
Back to Copeland, just like any gamer, he is taking the challenge very seriously; he seems to be preparing himself for the possible championship.
Nathan said in an interview, “I could get my a** beat, but yeah, I would play.” His enthusiasm is inspiring.
Subsequently, Copeland says he is ready to challenge the monkey to the very first
“interspecies battle” in Pong-in history! Additionally, he said that he has been training already, and has played his firm games of thought Pong earlier this week.
The brain combat between man and monkey would be streamed to millions of people on various online platforms. For example, YouTube and Twitch, the latter being a live streaming website for gamers. As a matter of fact, Copeland has a profile on Twitch, under the username crossbred900. He had always dreamt of becoming an online celebrity, with millions of followers. His dream might come true.
Of course, there is no date or time for the event yet; we are still awaiting Neuralink’s response to this challenge. Fingers crossed!
Last month Neuralink expressed in a blog post that their primary goal for implants is “to give people with paralysis their digital freedom back.” By allowing them to “communicate more easily via text, to follow their curiosity on the web, to express their creativity through photography and art, and, yes, to play video games.”
Interspecies mind combat wouldn’t do much to forge ahead scientific understanding. It would surely emphasize the promise of brain-machine interfaces to grant grievously paralyzed individuals easy access to computers and the internet, just like any other healthy human being.
Nevertheless, if Copeland and Pager game on, it would be mindblowing to watch, regardless of the results.
What do you think about this combat of interspecies?
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