- Elon Musk’s Neuralink said it’s been given the green light to test brain implants on humans.
- Recruitment’s not open yet, but people on the internet say they want nothing to do with it.
- Much of the backlash is coming from an apparent distrust of Musk, and not the tech itself.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink says it’s finally allowed to put brain implants in human beings, and the internet’s not thrilled by the prospect.
When Neuralink tweeted on Thursday that federal authorities have approved its first human clinical study, the comments were filled with praises and well-wishes from verified accounts — people who’ve paid for a Twitter subscription.
But not everyone was enthusiastic about Neuralink’s trial getting approved — in the kingdom of the checkmark-less, people are basically reacting with a collective “hell nah.”
“The first dudes in line are still going to be apes,” one user tweeted.
“Just say NOPE!” wrote another.
The backlash isn’t too surprising, given how the announcement is about tech that literally puts a chip in your head, and Skynet still grips people on the internet with fear. Musk himself has hinted that he thinks nefarious AI might be a possibility.
The negative comments were largely directed toward Musk, not Neuralink. Neuralink says it’s working on developing implants to assist paralyzed people, a feat recently accomplished by Swiss researchers.
Some people were not convinced that the technology would be used for positive ends in Musk’s hands.
“If this is what you really think he’s going to use it for, you’re delusional,” wrote one Twitter user.
“No trust or belief in him or anything he as anything to do with,” tweeted another.
Lots of people are posting GIFs of exploding heads, likely referencing either past explosive hiccups from Musk’s companies, like Teslas catching fire spontaneously, or reports that hundreds of animals tested by Neuralink have died.
—Dame Jamz (@makeitepic) May 26, 2023
To be fair, the billionaire’s trade is in exceedingly ambitious ideas like living on Mars, self-driving cars, fixing the problem of traffic, and getting people on the internet to discuss things responsibly.
But with those ambitions have come very visible failures, such as SpaceX’s mega-rocket bursting into flames in April (said by Musk to be an expected outcome) and The Boring Company’s hyped Washington D.C. and Los Angeles projects stalling out in 2021.
—KiKiLove1111 (@KiKiLove1111_) May 26, 2023
And on Wednesday, tech issues on Musk’s Twitter Spaces led to a disastrous start for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign announcement, as hundreds of thousands of listeners overloaded the site.
“Elon already showed this week that he’s the guy with the technical attention to detail to trust with brain implants,” one Twitter user wrote sarcastically.
Meanwhile, some people are asking Musk to test the brain implants on himself.
They shouldn’t have to wait long. Musk said in December that he’d do so once human trials are ready to go.
Whether the billionaire, CEO, and father of 10 actually puts the chip in his head remains to be seen.