Ben Gilbert 

  • Elon Musk’s Neuralink implanted a chip that enabled a monkey to “play video games using his mind.”
  • Musk claimed as much in a wide-ranging interview on Clubhouse on Sunday night.
  • Neuralink is focused on human-computer interfaces for artificial intelligence in people.

Elon Musk’s human-computer-interface company, Neuralink, seems to be off to a strong start.

“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,” Musk said in an interview on the “Good Time Show” on the app Clubhouse on Sunday night.

“One of the things we’re trying to figure out is can we have the monkeys play mind ‘Pong’ with each other,” he said. “That would be pretty cool.”

Neuralink has been testing neural interfaces on animals for years. In a video released last year, Neuralink demonstrated its work on a pig named Gertrude.

Gertrude Neuralink
The Neuralink device in a pig’s brain transmitted data during a demo last year as the pig snuffled around.

In that video, Neuralink demonstrated its ability to record and try to predict actions based on a wired chip implanted in Gertrude’s brain.

But Musk said the video-game-playing monkey got a wireless chip that enabled it to control an electronic interface with its mind only.

“He’s not uncomfortable, and he doesn’t look weird,” Musk said. “And you can’t even see where the neural implant went in.”

The wireless bit is particularly important, as it could eliminate the potential for infection that comes with wires protruding from organic material.

“If you can do experiments with something that doesn’t involve wires coming through the skin, that’s going to improve the welfare of animals,” Andrew Jackson, a neuroscience professor at the University of Newcastle, told Insider last year.

Listen to the full interview here: