“Neuralink Show and Tell,” the company unveiled its new AI tool with a video showing a monkey typing using only its brain. The technology, which Neuralink guides will be ready for humans next year, utilizes a computer chip embedded in the brain. Despite co-founder Elon Musk’s assertion that it will “render language obsolete” in 5-10 years and “cure” tinnitus, the scientific community was far from impressed.
The monkey video was part of a bigger presentation that contained the neural brain-computer interface, implant testing, and spinal cord applications.
The technology is planned to help people with paralysis and blindness. Musk pushed it further, hinting that he wanted one himself and stating that he would use the prototype to help his own children if they were in a severe accident. The gadget is currently awaiting FDA approval before testing in human brains.
Critics in the neuroscience community and others have spoken out against the technology, claiming it is behind the times of brain-computer interfaces and that Neuralink used unethical testing practices. Technology that reads brain waves and translates them into computer actions has been available for years.
While many groups work in this sphere, Neuralink is one of the few to explore direct brain implants, likely because of animal testing issues. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has a pending lawsuit alleging that Neuralink’s work was inhumane and subjected monkeys to extreme suffering.