In response to the typically grandiose claims made by Elon Musk while updating the world on “progress” regarding brain chips, the honorable non-profit, Physicians for Responsible Medicine, released their own Show & Tell.
Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interfaces Are the Future
Devices implanted in the brain come with a myriad of problems, including difficulty of repair and a high potential for severe medical complications. In comparison, noninvasive BMIs can allow for the risk-free monitoring of large-scale neuronal activity across the entire brain.
While Neuralink continues its invasive, painful, deadly experiments, noninvasive methods—which often rely on brain signals read using an electroencephalogram (EEG)—are already changing patients’ lives and hold even greater promise:
- Noninvasive BMIs can improve quality of life for older adults and elderly patients. They “have been used for restoring memory and planning using electromagnetic stimulation and biofeedback that modulate activity in a patient’s brain as part of a rehabilitation program….Moreover, invasive [BMIs] that require implantation of the device might be a serious ethical issue. Therefore, non-invasive EEG-based [BMIs]…appear to be the most promising technologies.”
- They can “assist paralyzed patients by providing access to the world without requiring surgical intervention.”
- They can allow patients with limited mobility to control robotic arms. “[Invasive BCIs] require a substantial amount of medical and surgical expertise to correctly install and operate, not to mention cost and potential risks to subjects…”
- They can allow patients with severe tetraplegia to control a wheelchair.
- Noninvasive BMIs can also allow people to communicate directly using a computer, and research is being done to improve this capability.
The development of noninvasive BMIs should be the focus of innovation, and there is clearly much discussion in support of moving in that direction. Neuralink should halt its animal experiments immediately and invest in human-relevant research.
DP view: Neuralink is nothing more than a synthesis of technophilic hubris with human supremacist abuse of other sentient beings, in this case, our close relatives.
We are also skeptical of noninvasive BMIs for the simple reason that we live in a time of Inverted Utopia wherein we are unable to imagine the full range of consequences of our technological innovations, particularly when it comes to messing with our brains.
We close this week’s post with a montage of excerpts from the TV series The 100, regarding a lethal intermingling of brains chips, AI, violence, anthropocentrism, Inverted Utopians, oblivion and extinction: