Experts, however, are not sold on Musk’s claims and promises, especially when non-invasive brain interface tech has yielded positive results without any of Neuralink’s risks. The non-profit – which was the first to uncover records of animal cruelty and mishandling of hazardous biomaterial by Neuralink, both of which faced investigation – has flagged risks such as malfunctioning implants, tangible chances of infection, and surgical complications. PCRM says the FDA approval is “not an acquittal of Neuralink’s well-documented track record of animal cruelty and sloppy scientific studies.”
Moreover, the group argues that clinical approval isn’t an assurance that the product will eventually make it to the market. This won’t be the first time that medical experts have raised red flags at Neuralink. In December 2022, following Musk’s demonstration of Neuralink progress, experts told Healthline that the company shouldn’t be making bold promises without clinical results, especially when it doesn’t command the same level of work and expertise as other brain-computer interface (BCI) projects like BrainGate.
Dr. Johnson from the State University of New York told The Daily Beast about Neuralink that “they’re overpromising because they’re a long way from being able to do that.” Neuroscience pioneer Miguel Nicolelis, who runs a BCI lab at Duke University, told Inverse that “Mr. Musk doesn’t understand a bit of neuroscience and what is the brain,” adding that Musk’s company hasn’t done anything innovative at all. It remains to be seen whether Neuralink delivers on Musk’s promises, and some experts remain unconvinced.