Neuralink had implanted the monkeys with brain chips from 2017 and 2020 during a series of tests at the University of California (UC), Davis.
Elon Musk’s idea of starting Neuralink was to make humans a little more advanced intellectually and even help the paralysed to walk again. However, the company with this noble idea is now facing backlash over the alleged suffering it has caused to the test subjects.
According to a report by the New York Post, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has filed a complaint to the US Department of Agriculture where it claimed that 15 out of 23 monkeys implanted with the Neuralink chips have died.
Complaint alleges ‘extreme suffering’ in monkeys
The monkeys were reportedly implanted with the chips from 2017 and 2020 during a series of tests at the University of California (UC), Davis. The complaint indeed gives horrifying accounts of the side-effects that the animals went through as one was reported to have some of its fingers and toes reason for which was “possibly from self-mutilation or some other unspecified trauma”, as per the NY Post.
Another monkey reportedly developed skin infection owing to the holes that were drilled in its skull to plant the chip. The complaint gives another account of a female macaque that was found vomiting, retching and gasping and later “appeared to collapse from exhaustion/fatigue”, the researchers noted in their report, as per NY Post.
Report reveals affected monkeys either died or euthanised
In each of these cases, the affected monkeys either died or were euthanised. As mentioned above, the Committee revealed that as many as 15 monkeys endured these conditions out of 23 total animals.
Jeremy Beckham, a member of the Committee told the New York Post, “Pretty much every single monkey that had had implants put in their head suffered from pretty debilitating health effects. They were, frankly, maiming and killing the animals”.
The group even alleged in their complaint to the Department of Agriculture that the monkeys died of “inadequate animal care” and Neuralink’s “highly invasive experimental head implants”. Earlier in 2021, a video shared by Neuralink and Elon Musk went viral where a monkey was shown playing a video game using only his mind.
Musk had shared the video on Twitter of a nine-year-old monkey named “Pager” learning to control a computer with his brain activity.