Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company engaged in the development of implantable microchips in the brain that allow disabled people to better interact with the world around them, is at the center of controversy in the United States.
No human brain has yet been touched. Tests have been carried out on monkeys and pigs.
In 2020 they demonstrated the technology with a pig. Musk’s company assured that everything was going smoothly and released a video in 2021 in which Pager the monkey could be seen playing the Pong video game using only his mind after a while using a joystick.
Now Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization that has over 17,000 doctors in its ranks, accuses the researchers of subjecting monkeys to unlawful mistreatment and “extreme suffering” while testing brain implants for Neuralink.
The conclusion came after analyzing more than 700 pages of documents, veterinary records and reports obtained through a transparency request made to the University of California Davis. The results of the investigation have also determined that the animals were mistreated.
In addition, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will file a formal complaint with the US Department of Agriculture against Neuralink. The Physician Committee points out in its complaint that “Neuralink and UC Davis staff failed to provide dying monkeys with adequate veterinary care, used an unapproved substance known as ‘Bioglue’ that killed monkeys by destroying portions of their brains, and failed to provide for the psychological well-being of monkeys assigned to the experiment.”
Only 7 of the 23 monkeys sent to Neuralink have survived the experiments between 2017 and 2020. The startup has severed its relations with the University of California Davis. UC Davis has received over $1.4 million from Neuralink to carry out the experiments.