Elon Musk started Neuralink, a company that makes medical devices. The federal government is now looking into the company for possible animal welfare violations after employees complained about how quickly the company tested animals.
What is this company working on?
The Neuralink device features a chip that can process and transmit neural impulses to other devices like computers or phones.
The company’s ultimate goal is to give users complete control over a computer’s pointer and keyboard.
The science behind Neuralink Technology
The idea behind Neuralink stems from the fact that the brain uses electrical signals to have conversations with itself. The brain’s network of 80–100 billion neurons depends on the transmission of electrical information. These impulses pass through your body in a specific order, instructing your muscles to move in response to stimuli.
Elon Musk said last week that Neuralink’s brain implant would be available in around six months.
“We’ve filed, I guess, most of our paperwork with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), and we expect that in about six months we should be able to have our first Neuralink in a human,” he said at a presentation, as reported by AFP.
Even as recently as last week, Musk promised that the Neuralink brain implant would be on the market for the general public in six months.
During his presentation, he reportedly said, “We’ve filed, I guess, most of our paperwork with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), and we expect that in about six months we should be able to have our first Neuralink in a human.”
Neuralink is currently testing the device on animals, and the business faces a federal probe for suspected animal welfare violations. According to Reuters, Neuralink employees said hasty animal testing causes “needless suffering and death.”
The Inspector General of the US Department of Agriculture started the probe after a federal prosecutor requested it. Growing staff disagreement concerning the company’s animal experiments is also a factor. According to staff, increasing pressure from CEO Elon Musk has led to many disastrous tests that killed animal subjects. According to employees, unsuccessful tests were repeated, increasing the number of dead animals.
Since 2018, Neuralink experiments have killed about 1,500 animals, including 280 sheep, pigs, and monkeys. US regulations that don’t say how many animals a company can use for research have also come to light.