Human beings have gone on to achieve a lot in various different spheres, but what they still haven’t quite managed to do is get rid of their error-prone tendencies. This dynamic, in particular, has already popped up on the surface quite a few times throughout our history, with each testimony practically forcing us to look for a defensive cover. We will, however, solve our conundrum in the most fitting way possible, and we’ll do so by bringing regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across every single area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed our many shortcomings. Now, the kind of utopia you would generally expect from such a development did arrive, but at the same time, it failed to stick around for long. Talk about what caused it to dissipate so soon, the answer will literally touch upon technology before it covers anything else. You see, the moment technology got its layered nature to take over the scene, it allowed people an unprecedented chance to fulfil their ulterior motives, even if it meant doing it at the expense of others’ well-being. In case this didn’t sound bad enough, the whole runner soon began to materialize on such a massive scale that it expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces and sent them back to the drawing board. After a lengthy spell in the wilderness, though, it seems like the regulatory contingent is finally ready to make a comeback. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and a new investigation into Neuralink should do a lot to make that trend bigger and better moving forward.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Inspector General has opened a formal investigation into Neuralink over potential animal welfare violations related to research testing. According to Reuters, many of the company’s stuff members have been raising concerns in terms of Neuralink possibly rushing animal testing, and causing needless suffering, and death. The stated report, which was constructed on the back of various internal documents, alleged that the company has killed 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys since 2018. Now, this doesn’t straight away spell a violation on the company’s part, but going by some former employees’ word, founder Elon Musk and his aggressive tactics to accelerate development have triggered more faulty experiments, and consequentially, higher death rates than normal. An example for the same talks to when, on one occasion, Neuralink staff implanted the company’s brain-machine interface device on the wrong vertebra of two different pigs. Mind you, they could have avoided the fiasco by counting the animals’ vertebrae beforehand, but instead, they didn’t and were forced into euthanizing those pigs.
Of course, it’s not the first time that Neuralink’s methods have been brought into question. Earlier this year, the animal rights group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine accused the company of botching surgeries and killing several monkeys in the process. However, despite all the outrage, Neuralink currently remains on course to start human testing in the next six months.
When quizzed regarding the controversy surrounding Neuralink, Elon Musk responded by saying:
“Before we would even think of putting a device in an animal, we do everything possible we with rigorous benchtop testing, We’re not cavalier about putting these devices into animals. We’re extremely careful and we always want the device, whenever we do the implant — whether into a sheep, pig or monkey — to be confirmatory, not exploratory,”