Scientists Deeply Worried About Elon Musk’s Company Neuralink: While Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes his brain-computer interface startup Neuralink is the future of human interactions with technology, many experts aren’t so convinced.
Researchers and scientists spoke to The Daily Beast this week to express horror at Musk’s goal of connecting the human brain to a computer.
“I don’t think there is sufficient public discourse on what the big picture implications of this kind of technology becoming available are,” Dr. Karola Kreitmayer, assistant professor of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, told the website.
“I worry that there is this uncomfortable marriage between a company that is for-profit,” she said.
In fact, the ethics surrounding technology like Neuralink is unknown territory. As such, many people are concerned about how these products – which are meant to help people with disabilities – may ultimately be used for profit.
“If the end goal is to use acquired brain data for other devices, or to use these devices for other things – say, to drive a car, to drive a Tesla – then there could be a huge market, “Dr. L. Sid Johnson, associate professor at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University, told the Daily Beast.
“But then all those human research topics – the ones with real needs – are being exploited and used in risky research for someone else’s commercial gain,” she continued.
Kreitmair echoed the sentiment. While he believes the technology could be “life-changing” for people with paralysis, he told the Daily Beast that its potential for the consumer “raises ethical concerns.”
Some experts are also concerned that Musk is nothing more than a carnival barker who will say whatever and stop to do nothing — which, well, is fair. He was previously only known for making high-pitched promises before delivering grossly low. Who says Neuralink won’t be the same?
“With these companies and owners of companies, they’re like showmen,” said Dr., a neuroethics researcher at Penn State. Laura Cabrera told The Beast. “They’ll make these exaggerated claims, and I think it’s dangerous because I think people blindly believe sometimes.”
She later added, “I’m always cautious about [Elon Musk].”
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