Tags: elonmusk | brain | chip

Are You OK With This? Neuralink's Brain Implant

Are You OK With This? Neuralink's Brain Implant
Elon Musk (AP)

By Tuesday, 01 September 2020 12:03 PM Current | Bio | Archive

On Friday  Elon Musk and his team hosted a Progress Update on its brain implant company called Neuralink. It was livestreamed on CNET and you can watch the hour+ presentation HERE.

What is Neuralink? It is a coin-sized smart device that is implanted into your brain at the top of the head by a surgical robot.

Its hyper-thin 1,024 wires migrate into your brain and can be stimulated by electrode pulses that are controlled by an app on your smartphone.

Elon Musk describes it as a, "Fitbit for your brain." He also said other things during the presentation such as "This is starting to sound like an episode of Black Mirror," and that "the future is going to be weird," and also that "People are like pigs."

Why pigs? Pigs are just some of the animals that this (AI, robotics, genetic engineering, biotech?) company has tested these devices on. There were three presented during the demonstration, one of which had the implant in its head.

The implant, by the way, is invisible once it's inserted into the brain. The patch of skull that is sawed away from the top of the head to accommodate this thick coin-shaped device later can be covered by hair once the incision heals. Musk himself even teased the crowd saying, "Maybe I have one implanted in my head?"

But back to the pigs … Musk and his team, including the two veterinarians present, all insisted that the pigs were voluntary research subjects willfully and happily succumbing to the brain surgery and implantation. Musk later conceded that it doesn't take much for a pig to be happy and healthy, just give it food.

"They love food." That is when he made the comment that "Pigs are like people." If either of those animal handlers speak "pig," I'd like to hear them speak it. Otherwise these claims of willful science experiment subjects ring hollow to me.

The Neuralink Brain Implant

What is the purpose of this smartphone app controlled brain implant? Why, of course, to eradicate pain from the human condition. Why else? (LOL)

Various members of the assembled team spoke about how this human-robotics engineering feat will allow people who are paralyzed to walk again, it will cure dementia, it will allow humans the ability to remotely access their memories. It will crack the code of human consciousness.

One of the team members even admitted that he champions the Neuralink cause because he has "always been fascinated with consciousness and this will help me study consciousness"

Hello, young man: ever heard of prayer and meditation?

Inserting wires in the brain in order to remotely monitor neuron activity can bring you closer to understanding consciousness, is, well, akin to putting lipstick on a pig, if you ask me.

Of all the Twitter questions they fielded during the presentation, not one dealt with the question: Who ultimately controls the smart app on the smartphone that controls the implanted device in your head?

If you take the "Black Mirror episode" analogy just a millimeter further, couldn't these brain implants spell legions of armies for smartphone manufacturers and Big Tech? Will future wars be fought between Huawei, Tencent, Facebook and Google humanbots?

Gamers in the audience asked if you could play popular games such as Warcraft with your brain only if you had the implant. The answer from Musk was, Yes. You could.

So if the brain could control external apps and be controlled by external corporations, why not just program a billion people to buy a Starbuck's coffee every day? Or switch their currency of choice from the U.S. dollar to Facebook's Libra or Amazon's digital currency version of Bitcoin to make daily purchases? For corporations who are already intent on shaping and controlling consumer spending habits, wouldn't this be a tempting lever to pull daily to top up their coffers?

I'm not even going to get into the surveillance on humans capacity of this device here. That merits legions of white papers at the very least. Suffice it to say that this device allows monitoring of the host human by temperature and movement. Whereas 'til now your smartphone was the tattletale in your pocket, now the implanted-in-your-brain device is the real-time monitoring sensor. But for whom?

Another explosive claim Musk made during the presentation was that the U.S. FDA had given its approval of human trials of this device. As of August 28th, the same day of the presentation, Tech Times did this fact check article claiming the contrary.

Though FDA already received the request for approval, experts conclude that Elon may have difficulties to convince FDA to sign it.

Bloomberg reported that Neuralink uses a material that is not approved by the federal agency called flexible polymers. This type of material does not last a decade in the human body. Which violates the minimum timeframe set by the agency.

Alarmingly, however, the same publication a few hours later — and after the Progress Update livestream — came out with another article in which they stated,

The current iteration of the brain chip, Link 0.9, will now be a compact 23mm x 8mm circle object that resembles a coin, although thicker in size. According to Musk, this chip will be responsible in (sic) monitoring the overall health of the person including changes in temperature, movement,...Soon, humans will don Neuralink's test procedures, using the V2 sewing machine's 1,024 electrode installation capabilities and connecting it with the new Link 0.9 chip.

If you don't see the parallels, as I do, with this technology to the scenarios written about in the Nobel Prize winning novel, Never Let Me Go and the similarly-themed film, The Island, then I would be at a loss to continue this conversation.

But, never having been a fan of Facebook, I have long begrudged (somewhat) all the starry-eyed snowflakes who adopted this platform and helped spread it globally, convinced that they probably refused to look at the dark side of human behavior control platforms and devices early on. Unless they were just plain evil and it is what they intended from the get-go. At least with FB, Amazon and Apple, it is still our free choice to use the platforms and/or buy the products.

What happens when the electrodes implanted in our heads compel us to practice certain behaviors? Like buy a latte now, order a gadget upgrade online now, go riot, loot and burn down businesses in the street now … what then?

Personally, I don't see Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness written into this Neuralink code. Do you?

As for the FDA, they have no statement, as of August 28th, on their Press Release site. So at the very least, Musk's overzealousness about approval is premature.

By the way, on the naming of their child born May 2020, X Æ A-12 this is what the Canadian mother @Grimezsz had to say:

•X, the unknown variable

•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)

•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent

Although she made a mistake here in this Twitter post: Lockheed SR-71 is what she meant which is also known as ‘Habu' the name of a poisonous black snake in Japan.

Paige Donner has contributed to Newsmax since 2018. She's a media expert, commentator, novelist, and serial entrepreneur. She founded the company, Paris Food And Wine in 2013. In 2018, she founded IoTShipping, a supply chain logistics startup that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) for precision traceability of shipped goods. Paige began her journalism career in Paris, France in 1990. Her first job out of university was with Time-Life's rue Fbg. St. Honore offices. Within the next two years, she took freelancing work as a copy editor for the International Herald Tribune, now re-branded the International New York Times, as well as writing assignments for Variety — the film and television trade magazine. Paige has also clerked for the Senate President of the Hawaii State Legislature. A filmmaker, she has written several television pilots as well as directed television commercials and film shorts. She also contributed to American Cinematographer, the Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Huffpost, and a film production trade magazine, Below The Line. As of 2010, Paige has again made Paris, France her home. She has also written for the International New York Times. Since 2013, she has been the sole regular local editor/photographer contributor based in Paris, France for USA Today. Read Paige Donner's Reports — More Here.

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What is the purpose of this smartphone app controlled brain implant?
elonmusk, brain, chip
Tuesday, 01 September 2020 12:03 PM
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