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Elon Musk claims he has ‘a monkey with a brain implant that can play video games with his mind’

Billionaire Elon Musk has claimed he has a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull who can play video games using his mind in a move which he hopes will one day address brain and spinal injuries. 

The CEO said the monkey is ‘totally happy’ and the effort is part of his ‘brain tech’ start-up firm Neuralink.

In a Q&A on Clubhouse, a private social app, Musk claimed the implant builds a digital link between the brain and a computer, describing it as ‘like a fitbit for the skull’.   

The billionaire inventor also claimed humans will be visiting Mars in five-and-a-half years, but admitted it would be ‘very dangerous’ as there ‘are far more ways to die out there than there are in Earth’.

Musk added that Bitcoin is ‘on the verge’ of being more widely accepted among investors as he expressed his support for the cryptocurrency.  

Billionaire Elon Musk has claimed he has a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull who can play video games using his mind in a move which he hopes will one day address brain and spinal injuries (file photo)

In a Q&A on Clubhouse, a private social app, Musk claimed the implant builds a digital link between the brain and a computer, describing it as 'like a fitbit for the skull'

In a Q&A on Clubhouse, a private social app, Musk claimed the implant builds a digital link between the brain and a computer, describing it as ‘like a fitbit for the skull’

Musk, who has invested $100 million in Neuralink, claimed the start-up has a ‘monkey facility’ where one monkey has a ‘wireless implant’ in its skull. 

He said: ‘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.

‘He’s totally happy. He does not look like an unhappy monkey,’ he added. ‘He’s not uncomfortable and he doesn’t look weird.

‘We’re trying to work out if we can get the monkeys to play mind pong with each other, you know that would be pretty cool.’ 

Musk has been no stranger to using animals in his scientific experiments. In August last year, he said Neuralink had implanted a computer-chip in the brain of a pig called Gertrude

Musk has been no stranger to using animals in his scientific experiments. In August last year, he said Neuralink had implanted a computer-chip in the brain of a pig called Gertrude

Musk also claimed that when a US Department of Agriculture official came to inspect their monkey facilities, she was mightily impressed. 

‘When the USDA person came through and inspected our facilities, our monkey facilities, she said it was like the nicest monkey facilities she’s ever seen in her career,’ he said. ‘We went the extra mile for the monkeys.’  

Musk has been no stranger to using animals in his scientific experiments. In August last year, he said Neuralink had implanted a computer-chip in the brain of a pig called Gertrude. 

He said in the short-term, Neuralink would be able to address brain injuries and spinal injuries.

‘It would make up for whatever lost capacity somebody has with an implanted chip,’ he said. ‘So the first thing we are going after is a wireless implanted chip that would enable someone who [has a brain injury or spinal injury] to control a computer or mouse or phone or really any device just by thinking. 

The billionaire inventor also claimed humans will be visiting Mars in five-and-a-half years, but admitted it would be 'very dangerous and hard work'

The billionaire inventor also claimed humans will be visiting Mars in five-and-a-half years, but admitted it would be ‘very dangerous and hard work’

‘And this would of course be a massive enabler and make life easier for them. 

‘There have been primitive versions of the device with wires sticking out of your head but it doesn’t work all the time and you can’t take it home with you.

‘In simple terms, its sort of like a fitbit in your skull with tiny wires that go to your brain.’    

Musk also spoke about his plans to land humans on Mars in ‘five-and-a-half years’.   

He said: ‘It’s going to be very dangerous. People are like, oh is this some kind of escape hatch for rich people. 

‘No it will be dangerous, hard work. There are far more ways to die out there than there are in Earth. 

‘But I think it will be fun and a great adventure. But it will not be a luxurious thing, that’s for sure. Not for some time.’

Musk's private SpaceX rocket recently took fee-paying astronauts to the International Space Station

Musk’s private SpaceX rocket recently took fee-paying astronauts to the International Space Station

Musk also spoke about his support for Bitcoin and said he believed it was ‘on the verge’ of being more widely accepted among investors. 

The comments come after the Tesla Inc CEO’s use of a “#bitcoin” tag on his Twitter profile page led to a 14% jump in the cryptocurrency on Friday.

“I am a supporter of bitcoin,” Musk said. ‘I think bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people,” he said, adding he should have bought it eight years ago.

‘I was a little slow on the uptake … I do think at this point that bitcoin is a good thing.’

Bitcoin was up 2% at $33,796 on Monday, having surged over 300 per cent in 2020.


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