Elon Musk's Neuralink Says It Has FDA Approval for In-Human Brain Studies

Sorry to break it to you but Musk is not exactly the most ethical steward for in-human-brain studies.

In case you're not aware, Musk already has a potentially egregious record of animal welfare violations in the course of horrific & botched testings on monkey and pig brains when human ones weren't (then) available to him & his team.

(Sidenote: A probe is still underway into Musk's violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which governs how researchers treat & test some animals. One has to wonder though, we human beings ARE ALSO animals, are we not? We belong to the animal phylum known as chordates because we have a backbone; & we share many features with mammals. So if our fellow monkeys' & pigs' brains are unethically tested, how "ethically" can we expect in-human brains to be tested by Neuralink folks?)

When speaking of the FDA approval, Neuralink says the approval "represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people," and offered no details of the planned studies.

'Help many people?'

That might sound like a great press release line but glossy words mean nothing in light of Neuralink's ethical track record (as shared above). So I'll likely remain a Musk-skeptic for the time being and I do hope to be proven wrong.

But something else gives me added reason for concern.

And that's this:

Musk tends to be one of those developers that's not as bound to ethical concerns along in his quest to AI'tizing our world at large.

One must remember Musk himself was quick to fire Twitter's own AI safety team back in November 2022, just days after he acquired the company. We can deduce from those actions that ethics may not likely be at the top of his product development priority list.

Now Musk is moving ahead and creating his own AI LMM (X.AI) to compete w/what he says is "woke #ChatGPT" and this means he's using the full breadth of Twitter data, which he now owns (*tremendous* volumes of data generated by Twitter's user base) to develop his new X.AI large language model (LLM).

His reference to ChatGPT as "woke" offers a clue as to what an X.AI LLM will and won't be or do.

And with FDA's recent approval for Neuralink's in-human brain testings, I suspect most any data he gleans from said studies will be (at some point and in some way) used to further "humanize" his forthcoming battalion of humanoid robots currently underway.

... robots Musk predicts will sell for about 10K+ and will be in most every household within the next 10 or so years.

With so much demand for human brain-based intel, these are rather challenging times to be human, it seems.

We must stay vigilant & keep advocating to protect our fragile human brains from all this commercialized-mechanization afoot.

Until next time,

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, MA, MFA
Advancing Humanity In An AI-Enabled & Media-Laden World
Cyber/Media Psychologist (dissertation in progress)
☎️ 703.798.2619 (text msg preferred)