Over the years, the company “Neuralink” has conducted a number of brain implant tests on monkeys, and according to a report from Futurism, a majority of those went south. The implants are supposed to aid cognitive abilities and perhaps even alleviate or offset certain mental disabilities. Now, an ethics group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is calling for an investigation.
Elon Musk, who founded the biotechnology company in 2016, claimed that the affected animals had terminal illnesses that were unrelated to the implant tests, but others cry foul. Frank Landymore writes,
Documents viewed as part of a new investigation by Wired, however, as well as testimony from a former employee, contradict Musk’s claims entirely — and the details are as upsetting as they are damning, adding to a mounting case against the safety of Neuralink’s devices.
And the timing couldn’t be more exigent either, with Neuralink announcing on Wednesday that it’s recruiting subjects for human trials.
Here’s the harrowing casualty report, per veterinary records obtained by Wired from the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at UC Davis, the site of the Neuralink primate research. Up to a dozen monkeys suffered grisly fates after receiving a Neuralink implant, including brain swelling and partial paralysis.-Frank Landymore, Terrible Things Happened to Monkeys After Getting Neuralink Implants, According to Veterinary Records (futurism.com)
The Committee might want to move quickly with the investigation, since human trials on the preeminent horizon. While aspects of this technology seem promising, if it’s not yet safe, people should steer clear.