The Fate of Elon Musk's Brain-Implanted Patients Worries Scientists - Purwana Tekno, Software Engineer
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Minggu, 03 Maret 2024

The Fate of Elon Musk's Brain-Implanted Patients Worries Scientists

Elon Musk, the founder of Neuralink, made headlines this week by claiming that the first human recipient of a closely monitored brain implant is now able to control a computer mouse cursor using their thoughts alone.

Ilmuwan Cemas Nasib Pasien Elon Musk yang Otaknya Ditanam Chip

However, a significant issue arises as Neuralink has yet to provide substantial evidence to support these claims, leading medical researchers to question their validity.

Quoted from Futurism on Saturday (3/2/2024), the concern isn't just about the novelty of the innovation; rather, the public lacks sufficient information from Neuralink to verify their claims, or more worryingly, to assess the safety of their practices.

"Neuralink is currently only sharing limited information they want us to know," said Sameer Sheth, a neurotechnology implant specialist at Baylor College of Medicine. "There are many concerns within the community about this."

Elon claimed in his tweet last month that patients receiving the brain implant were showing signs of improvement. However, as most observers of Neuralink have noted, there is ample reason to worry about what's happening behind the scenes.

Behind the touted achievements of the company lies revelations about the treatment of monkeys. In a leaked document, detailed explanations were provided on how the implants caused various horrific injuries, including damaging the monkeys' brains and causing severe brain swelling.

In many cases, these monkeys spent their final days in needless suffering, and experts say this could have been avoided.

Touching upon safety concerns again, Sheth mentioned that scientists still don't know the capabilities of Neuralink's surgical robots. To date, we've only seen surgery recordings on dummies, which occurred over a year ago. It's not even confirmed whether these robots have been used on human patients.

A relevant and concerning detail about Neuralink's surgical capabilities is another report of monkeys with failed brain implants. According to autopsies performed, some monkeys had to be euthanized after their devices became so loose that the screws holding them in the skull could be easily removed.

For the sake of patients, Neuralink is expected to be a safer place with its practices since then. However, based on the still lacking details, it remains unclear if Neuralink has truly revolutionized anything.

"Controlling a cursor using the human mind is not new," said Bolu Ajiboye, a brain-computer interface researcher at Case Western Reserve University. He noted that the first human to control a cursor with a brain implant was in 2004, and testing has shown this in monkeys for a long time.

Meanwhile, other brain implant projects have enabled fully paralyzed patients to communicate through digital avatars using their thoughts or to control life-changing prosthetic robots. However, Ajiboye hasn't ruled out Neuralink. potion chart mc is cool.

"The more companies involved in human brain-computer interface (BCI) displays, the better for driving progress in this field," he said.

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