If Elon Musk is particularly enthusiastic and confident about Neuralink, this project of connecting the human brain to an electronic chip will not delight the scientific community. There are far too many ethical questions in their eyes. Questions that remain unanswered for now.
In 2019, Elon Musk will present its new flagship project: Neuralink. Principle? Connecting and connecting the human brain to a machine, in this case an electronic chip. According to Tesla and SpaceX’s billionaire and current CEO, Neuralink’s primary purpose is medical, this technology should be used primarily better understand, anticipate and treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
In addition, it could also help people with reduced mobility regain their motor skills. After completing final tests on rodents and chimpanzees like this monkey who managed to play pong with the idea thanks to the Neuralink chip, the first human experiments should begin soonAccording to Elon Musk. “We hope to have good results with our first human patients – people with severe spinal cord injuries – such as quadriplegics – pending FDA approval next year (Editor’s Note: American Food and Drug Administration) because implantation standards are significantly higher than those required by the FDA, declared the boss at the end of 2021.
Tests on humans are a matter of concern to the scientific community
Only, this announcement hardly fascinates the scientific community, on the contrary. In an interview published on the Daily Beast website, many experts are concerned about the company’s oversight, its potential impact on the health of those participating in these tests. Plus, they believe it This project raises important and unprecedented ethical questions about the fusion of technology and the human body.
“I don’t think there is enough public talk about the global impact of the availability of this type of technology. I’m afraid there will be an unpleasant marriage between the for-profit company and these medical procedures, which I hope will help people. ” asks Dr. Karaola Kreitmair, Associate Professor of the History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin (USA).
Read also: Elon Musk says Neuralink can stream music to the brain
Lucrative exploitation of the Neuralink, dreaded dread
The greatest fear of these scientists is potential lucrative exploitation about this technology, which is supposed to help people with disabilities. “If the ultimate goal is to use the acquired brain data for other devices or use those devices for other things, such as driving a car, driving a Teslas – then the market could be much, much larger. says Dr. L. Syd Johnson, an assistant professor at the Center for Bioethics and Humanity at SUNY Upstate Medicat University.
In the eyes of these experts other fundamental questions remain unanswered : What happens if Neuralink goes bankrupt after chips have already been implanted in patients’ brains? Who has the right to control information related to users’ brain activity? What happens to the data if the business is sold, especially for a foreign company? How long do the devices last? What happens if the chip fails ? So many questions and concerns that Neuralink has not yet answered at the time of publishing the Daily Beast article.
Source: Daily Beast