Elon Musk, the Monkey and the Three Pigs: A Transhumanist Fable?


This article is published in Futuribles journal no.445, nov.-déc. 2021

In a video posted online in April, then in a presentation delivered in late August of 2021, the billionaire Elon Musk, whose futuristic exploits and projects attract constant comment (SpaceX, Tesla), laid out the advances made by his neurotechnology start-up Neuralink. The aim was to showcase the progress made by the brain-machine interface developed by Neuralink, particularly in the form of a highly miniaturized brain implant. As Philippe Menei demonstrates here, the technology is not in itself particularly new, but its miniaturization may open up new vistas. The intentions expressed by Musk — namely, his aim of turning this into a mass market technology that is implantable and ‘explantable’ at will and capable, for example, of becoming an ‘accessory’ to video games — raise significant concerns. It would be a case of leaping from technologies initially dedicated to solving specific medical problems (motor or sensory disabilities) to quasi-‘demedicalized’ mass-market implants flirting dangerously with transhumanism. This opinion piece is a wake-up call against the ever clearer risks of a shift from the ‘repaired’ to the ‘enhanced human’.
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