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Don’t rush out and get Elon Musk’s brain implant just yet. According to news reports, 21 percent of Neuralink’s test monkeys died after experiments.
Earlier this week, Neuralink admitted in a blog post that they have euthanized a number of rhesus macaques monkeys due to the brain implant experiments.
The statement was in response to a state lawsuit and federal complaint filed this month by the animal rights national nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine against the Univerisity of California, Davis, for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act related to invasive and deadly brain experiments conducted on 23 monkeys.
You can read more about the experiments here or watch a video of one of those experiments, where a monkey plays ping pong with its brain, below:
Brain-to-computer interfaces are a key step towards a fully immersive virtual reality experience, like what they had in the Matrix.
Neuralink denied abusing the animals or subjecting them to extreme suffering as the Physicians Committee alleged, and contradicted the claim that 15 monkeys died during the experiments, saying that only eight were euthanized.
Two animals were euthanized at planned end dates to gather anatomical data and the others were put down due to one surgical complication, one device failure, and four device-associated infections, the company said.
That still sounds like a lot of monkeys.
UC Davis received more than $1.4 million from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink to carry out the experiments.
“UC David may have handed over its publicly-funded facilities to a billionaire, but that doesn’t mean it can evade transparency requirements and violate federal animal welfare laws,” Jeremy Beckham, research advocacy coordinator with the Physicians Committee, said in a release.
The documents revealed monkeys had their brains mutilated in shoddy experiments and were left to suffer and die, he said. “It’s no mystery why Elon Musk and the university want to keep photos and videos of this horrific abuse hidden from the public.”
You can watch a video about how Neuralink says they take care of their animals here:
MetaStellar news editor Alex Korolov is also a freelance technology writer who covers AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise virtual reality. His stories have also been published at CIO magazine, Network World, Data Center Knowledge, and Hypergrid Business. Find him on Twitter at @KorolovAlex and on LinkedIn at Alex Korolov.