Neuralink is feeling the heat

Neuralink is pumping out a flurry of PR to counter the reports of animal neglect at the company. Here’s Ryan Tanaka making excuses for them:

Tanaka is an odd one — he claims to have no affiliation with the company, he just loves them so much that he has a YouTube channel dedicated to fluffing Elon Musk and Neuralink. Even here, notice how the justification is I think it’s worthwhile to keep the long-term goals of the team in mind — the end justifies the means. Then he trots out a string of Neuralink employees to say how wonderful the company that pays them is.

That’s worthless.

The goals of Neuralink are sci-fi nonsense and hype about mundane technological developments. They’ve got a chip with more channels than previous efforts…but that’s not where the questions lie. Just throwing more needles into the brain does nothing if you don’t understand the interactions, or the long term consequences of healing, repair, and response to exogenous signals. It’s really a brute force approach to physically interacting with a mammalian brain, and it’s going to be increasingly disastrous as these people fumble about crudely under the directives of an incompetent narcissist.

I don’t want to hear what paid employees say. This is a case where an independent review is necessary by people who don’t get a paycheck from Elon Musk. I’d still like to know why UC Davis no longer supports Neuralink’s animal research. Is it under an NDA? That wouldn’t surprise me at all. In fact, I bet all those employees have a threatening NDA stapled to their backs.

If you want to see something really sad, though, check out Tanaka’s YouTube channel. Read the comments on this video, for example, but they all sound alike. They’re full of desperate people looking for hope. ‘Please sir, cure my seizures/paraplegia/tinnitis/depression/autism/Parkinson’s/multiple sclerosis/schizophrenia. Will it let me talk to animals?’ That’s where the fervor comes from. Musk is the messiah who will heal everything.

Then there are the sci-fi fantasies.

Very ambitious! Nope, not gonna happen.

I want an invasive, dangerous electrical device imbedded in my brain to help with my homework! Sheesh, CS nerds.

That could help with the research. Using an unreliable device and Tesla software to assist you in driving your motorcycle will generate a huge number of test subjects.

Oh, and all the people asking to sign up for the experimental trials! It’s madness. No, don’t do this. Don’t. Just don’t. One of the signs you’re in a cult is the willingness to let the cult leader do experimental neurosurgery on you. It will never end well.

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