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Mind-Reading Device a Success in Monkeys, Says Elon Musk

In a recent tweet, business magnate and technology entrepreneur Elon Musk announced that his company Neuralink has successfully implanted a mind-reading device in a monkey. The device, according to Musk, allows the monkey to “type” eight words per minute. This news comes hot on the heels of Neuralink’s announcement that it plans to begin human trials as early as next year.

While some may see this as a step towards the development of a real-life “Matrix”-style scenario, others are no doubt excited at the potential implications for those with conditions like paralysis or ALS. For now, though, it seems we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out what the minds of monkeys have been up to all this time.

In his tweet, Musk said that the monkey had been fitted with two thousanD four hundred electrodes which were able to record “neural activity.” These recordings were then processed by an algorithm which translated them into typed words. The monkey apparently learned how to type by playing video games that were designed specifically for this purpose.

While some may see this as aloading step forward for the development of neural implants, others have cautioned against reading too much into the results of this trial. For one thing, it’s not clear how long the monkey was able to type for or whether it still remembered how to do so after the implant was removed. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Musk has been known to overstate the capabilities of his products in the past.

Only time will tell whether Neuralink’s mind-reading device lives up to Elon Musk’s claims. In the meantime, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is only a trial and that there are still many unknowns about how these devices will work in humans. Exciting as this news may be, it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves—after all, we don’t want to end up like those poor monkeys in cages typing away for our amusement.

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