Tech billionaire Elon Musk announced yesterday that his creepy company Neuralink has successfully implanted its first brain chip into a human patient.
BBC News reports that Neuralink, a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk in 2016, has developed a brain-machine interface consisting of thousands of electrodes attached to flexible threads that can be implanted in the brain. The goal is to create a wireless device capable of recording and stimulating brain activity as a way to potentially treat neurological conditions.
According to Musk, the first human implant of Neuralink’s brain chip has been completed and is showing positive results so far.
The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.
Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
Musk stated on X (formerly Twitter) that the first Neuralink product will be called “Telepathy” and will allow users to control devices like phones or computers simply by thinking. While the technology is still in the early research stages, Musk envisions it could eventually help paralyzed patients communicate faster than typing or even allow for “symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
The first @Neuralink product is called Telepathy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
Enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.
Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.
Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 30, 2024
Neuralink faces competition from other brain-machine interface companies such as Blackrock Neurotech and Precision Neuroscience. However, the high profile of Musk and Neuralink has brought more public attention to the concept of connecting the human brain to computers.
Breitbart News has previously reported on claims that Neuralink was facing major issues with its animal testing subjects; some groups even claiming that the experiments bordered on abuse.
A detailed investigation brought to light the unsettling circumstances surrounding the deaths of monkeys used in Neuralink’s preliminary experiments. Elon Musk has staunchly denied that the deaths were a direct consequence of the implants, maintaining that the chosen test subjects were “close to death already.” However, these assertions are contradicted by accounts revealing severe complications, including chronic infections, paralysis, and brain swelling, experienced by the test subjects, necessitating euthanasia.
Wired provided some details on the situations some of the test animals were put in, writing:
For example, in an experimental surgery that took place in December 2019, performed to determine the “survivability” of an implant, an internal part of the device “broke off” while being implanted. Overnight, researchers observed the monkey, identified only as “Animal 20” by UC Davis, scratching at the surgical site, which emitted a bloody discharge, and yanking on a connector that eventually dislodged part of the device. A surgery to repair the issue was carried out the following day, yet fungal and bacterial infections took root. Vet records note that neither infection was likely to be cleared, in part because the implant was covering the infected area. The monkey was euthanized on January 6, 2020.
Describing the treatment of another animal, Wired reported:
Additional veterinary reports show the condition of a female monkey called “Animal 15” during the months leading up to her death in March 2019. Days after her implant surgery, she began to press her head against the floor for no apparent reason; a symptom of pain or infection, the records say. Staff observed that though she was uncomfortable, picking and pulling at her implant until it bled, she would often lie at the foot of her cage and spend time holding hands with her roommate.
Animal 15 began to lose coordination, and staff observed that she would shake uncontrollably when she saw lab workers. Her condition deteriorated for months until the staff finally euthanized her. A necropsy report indicates that she had bleeding in her brain and that the Neuralink implants left parts of her cerebral cortex “focally tattered.”
Ryan Merkley, the director of research advocacy for a medical ethics committee focusing on animal rights, warned: “Patients should have serious concerns about the safety of Neuralink’s device.” The committee, which boasts over 17,000 doctor members, has urged potential Neuralink volunteers to seriously reconsider their applications.
Read more at BBC News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.