At Neuralink, monkey plays video games with his mind, says Elon Musk

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Last year, we presented to you Elon Musk's crazy experiments with his company Neuralink, whose goal is to connect humans to electronics like never before, notably through a neural chip in progress. development and tested on pigs last year . Recently, Elon Musk said that as part of a more advanced trial, a monkey is currently being used to test the connection of the neural interface with brain signals for the purpose of playing a video game - apparently the famous "Pong". », One of the first arcade video games in history. Rather strange as an announcement, but it very real.

With a clear goal of manipulating the perception we might have of such a sci-fi movie scene, " He's a happy monkey ," says Elon Musk, among other CEOs of electric vehicle maker Tesla. Inc. and SpaceX, promoter of many projects with very futuristic objectives, including here Neuralink Corp., a startup dedicated to the development of a revolutionary brain-computer interface. He said on Clubhouse (a private social app where users conduct informal and spontaneous conversations) that videos showing monkeys connected to computers would be available soon, probably by the end of the month.

Although Clubhouse at first glance appears to be an app for participating in various conference calls, it has become a popular platform for around 5 million users, an incredible leap from the 3 million users it had ago. only 10 days.

The entrepreneur was asked about the latest developments at his San Francisco-based company Neuralink, which was unveiled in 2017. Musk, who also founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and who is today the richest person in the world ( ahead of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon), is known for his many interests, from artificial intelligence to underground highways, to space exploration (and his drive to make humanity an interplanetary civilization) .

“ We have a monkey with a wireless implant in his skull, with tiny wires, that can play video games with his mind, ” Musk told several thousand listeners in a chat room on Clubhouse. “ You can't see where the implant is, and he's a happy monkey. We have the finest monkey facilities in the world. We want them to play mind-pong (to say “thought pong”) with each other ”.

The goal of brain bonding technology is to remedy damage to the brain and spine, and to compensate for people's loss of capacity through an implanted chip, Musk explains. " There are early versions of this device with wires coming out of the skull, but it's like a Fitbit […], with tiny wires implanted in the brain ."

During the presentation made by Elon Musk in August 2020, the implant measured 23mm in diameter and 8mm in thickness. A size small enough to allow for easy implantation leaving only a small scar under the scalp, as Musk has repeatedly advertised.

Russia develops futuristic combat armor capable of stopping .50 caliber bullets

Although many experts in military strategy have argued that the wars of the future will not be wars on the ground, but clashes under the sign of artificial intelligence and biochemical weaponry, governments continue to develop equipment for ever more sophisticated combat for their military forces. This is notably the case of Russia which announced, through the intermediary of the public company Rostec, that it was developing the new generation of its high-tech combat armor Sotnik.

State defense giant Rostec has announced that the company is developing the fourth generation of its Sotnik, or “Centurion” combat armor. The third generation Sotnik suit currently includes " completely new personal protective equipment and ammunition, providing light armor defense and dramatically increasing the armament of the soldier, " says the Jamestown Foundation .

“ The next-generation equipment will consist of a fundamentally new set of technologies, including the latest achievements of the Russian defense industry, involving robotic equipment and integrated information exchange systems. Today we have started the first stage of development - defining the tactical and technical requirements , ”says engineer Bekkhan Ozdoev from Rostec.

While Rostec's official post was vague regarding the specifics of the new system, Ozdoev previously stated that the fourth generation Sotnik armor will consist of a lightweight polyethylene fiber and an armor coating designed to withstand direct fire from a .50 M2 Browning caliber. " The equipment will not restrict movement and will allow the soldier to bear the extra weight needed to perform special missions ," according to Ozdoev.

A technology based on the third generation Sotnik armor

While the prospect of a futuristic combat suit capable of stopping a .50 caliber bullet seems like something out of science fiction, the Russian military is "totally serious about it," says Samuel Bendett, a research-focused analyst. on Russian military developments. Indeed, the third-generation Sotnik equipment that Rostec is currently deploying is itself intended to replace the high-tech Ratnik, or Warrior combat equipment - which has been in development for over a decade and has been in use throughout the world. fight over the past five years - by 2025.

The Ratnik suit, which consists of 10 subsystems and 59 individual components, includes a modernized bulletproof vest designed to withstand 7.62mm shells, a helmet with a special eye monitor fitted with a thermal night vision monocular and a flashlight, as well as integrated communication systems. It also includes an autonomous heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask and a medical kit.

More than 300,000 sets of the various iterations of Ratnik combat equipment have already been delivered to the Russian Defense Ministry in the past eight years. While Rosetec does not explicitly say how long research and development will take for the Sotnik combat suit, the company already has a solid foundation now that two generations of Ratnik combat armor have been combat tested by the forces. Russian.

Indeed, the feasibility of the Sotnik is directly linked to the success of the Ratnik, according to Bendett, to such an extent that the element "integrated systems of information exchange" highlighted by Ozdoev "is not new either and s 'will probably build on existing tactical systems currently in use.'

The development of an advanced combat exoskeleton

Some futuristic abilities actually appear at hand. Rostec unveiled in September a specialized exoskeleton for the Ratnik combat suit, designed to support 80 kilograms for the average soldier, and a new “Stormer” combat exoskeleton, designed to carry 60 kilograms during assault operations.

Rostec has not announced a date, but the technological advancement of the project appears to surpass the United States when it comes to future infantry combat systems. Indeed, the Pentagon has pursued the objective of a motorized exoskeleton for almost half a century, with its latest project, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) of the US Special Operations Command.

However, combat armor is still not fully integrated after its unveiling in 2019. Where the United States has remained stuck with system integration issues, Russia has benefited in the development of its exoskeleton from its ability to field test such equipment, in the context of war-torn Syria.

Video from the Task and Purpose specialty channel regarding the current state of development of combat armor and exoskeletons:

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Elon Musk is achieving great things

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User's avatar Oje
3 years ago

Solid article. Thank you

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3 years ago

Good morning everyone 🌞💵

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3 years ago