Everyone’s going to die
Elon Musk’s monkeys have seen things you people wouldn't believe... Tesla Roadsters careening through space... they watched pong balls glitter in the dark, propelled by nothing more than their thoughts. All those moments lost in time, like tears in rain...
Cast your mind back to February 2022, when Elon Musk’s Neuralink was accused of killing cute little monkeys by cutting out parts of their skull and inserting electrical equipment into their brains. Apparently, they experienced “extreme suffering” before they were eventually euthanised – but, on the plus side, they were able to play video games with their mind. Jealous? Well, good news: now you have a chance to experience the excruciating effects of the billionaire’s experimental implants too!
According to Musk himself, the wireless brain chip developed by Neuralink is on schedule to begin human trials in six months, following a few delays (which may or may not have something to do with the confirmed monkey deaths). Apparently, it’s ready to go now, but Neuralink has to seek approval by the FDA to begin inserting the dystopian device into human beings.
During a three-hour presentation at Neuralink headquarters on Wednesday, Musk emphasised that the company will speed up the development of its brain chips in months and years to come. “The progress at first, particularly as it applies to humans, will seem perhaps agonisingly slow, but we are doing all of the things to bring it to scale in parallel,” he said. “So, in theory, progress should be exponential.”
The Silicon Valley mantra “move fast and break things” feels a bit more ominous when the things we’d be breaking are our brains. Don’t worry, though: Musk says that they want to be “extremely careful” and “certain that it will work well” before putting the device in humans. Then again, he might also have said that to the macaque monkeys, before they were subjected to what I can only imagine looked something like the stargate sequence at the end of 2001.
Yup— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2022
It goes without saying, though, that the potential applications for Musk’s brain chips are endless and, as of yet, virtually unexplored. Maybe, instead of forking out billions for cultural relevance, he could simply beam his boomer memes directly into our brains. Let that sink in. Since assuming control of Twitter, the “free speech absolutist” has also made a habit of banning anyone who says something rude about him, but why stop there? Why not go direct to the source and reroute our rude thoughts into something more productive, like... sorting out the “underpopulation crisis”?
Of course, this is all speculation – a purely hypothetical glimpse into the bright future Musk has in store. At the moment, Musk says that the chips will be more focused on treating paralysis and restoring vision. “Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision,” he claims. That being said, he’s previously talked about melding the brain with AI via Neuralink as well, so there’s plenty of potential for manmade horrors beyond our comprehension further down the line.
For the record, Musk appears to have pledged to get a brain implant himself. However, it’s unclear whether he’ll be first in line when the FDA approves Neuralink’s human trials, or if he’ll wait to see how it goes for the first few test subjects to avoid ending up like one of his ill-fated macaques.