Showing posts with label Elon Musk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elon Musk. Show all posts

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Allegations against Elon Musk's Neuralink business of animal abuse

It appears that some staff at Elon Musk's Neuralink business have acted as whistle-blowers (or the information has leaked out) in saying that because Musk is driving his staff very hard, they are taking shortcuts in animal testing which is resulting in at least potential animal welfare violations and possibly unnecessary deaths because mistakes are being made.

"Elon Musk’s Neuralink, is under federal investigation for potential animal welfare violations." - Metro.co.uk
Allegations of rushed animal testing experiments at Neuralink facility leading to unnecessary deaths
Allegations of rushed animal testing experiments at Neuralink facility leading to unnecessary deaths. Image: MikeB based on images in the public domain.

Musk's Neuralink business has the intention of being able to place brain implants into paralysed people to enable them to walk again. And he hopes that his technology will cure other neurological health problems in people.

In order to achieve his goal, he has to do animal testing which he reportedly dislikes but he makes sure that they are "the happiest animals" while they are alive. Sadly, they end up dead after the testing.

There is no way around the fact that animal testing is cruel, and many people believe that it is unnecessary because you can create artificial models which substitute animal testing.

Perhaps this isn't applicable in this instance, and Mr Musk is reliant upon the testing of animals including pigs. He said at the time of the launch of Neuralink that they had three pigs with coin-sized implants in each of them and they were "healthy, happy and indistinguishable from a normal pig".

And as you might know, animals under testing procedures normally end up being euthanised because the testing on them makes it unviable for them to live afterwards. So, the basic concept of animal testing is immoral.

Sky News reports that there have been internal complaints by Neuralink staffers that animal testing is being rushed leading to "needless suffering and deaths" (initially reported by Reuters).

Allegedly, 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys have died following experiments since 2018.

And further, allegedly, 25 pigs were reportedly implanted with devices that were the wrong size. The error occurred it is said because the experiment was carried out without sufficient preparation.

And allegedly the cause of that error was that they were being rushed by Alan Musk applying too much pressure on staff.

Although, it has to be made clear that there are no records of violations against regulations taking place at the facility. At this stage, I stress, these are allegations. I don't want to be sued by Musk thank you very much. 😒😊😢

Neuralink has sought approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Scientists are developing tiny implants with more than 3000 electrodes. There are attached to flexible threads which are incredibly thin about 1/10 of the diameter of a human hair which are capable of monitoring about 1000 neurons according to the report that I have seen.

Other employees interviewed by Reuters say that Neuralink treats animals quite well compared to other research facilities. The animals have been given freedom to roam and the facility has been likened to a "monkey Disneyland".

Saturday 19 November 2022

Twitter on the brink of shutdown and it's going to affect animal rescue!

I'm being very speculative in this short article, but it occurred to me that Elon Musk's approach to staff management at Twitter may have a very detrimental effect upon animal welfare across the planet. 

He's been brutal in his takeover of Twitter which has resulted in some reports suggesting that up to 75% of employees have refused to take up his offer of working long hours and providing 'exceptional performance'. To him, only that would qualify as a 'passing grade' in his words.

Twitter has seen mass resignations following an email from Mr Musk, it has been claimed. Image: Getty Images.

And therefore, there's been a mass exodus of employees. It appears that he is risking losing his $44 billion which was the price of Twitter. Apparently, he overpaid quite substantially for the social media website which is relatively small compared to websites such as Facebook. 

As I understand it, it's about 10th in the league of social media sites by size. But it is influential, and a lot of animal welfare operations rely on it for effective communication and promotion.

Elon Musk seems to be unconcerned because he said that: "We just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage". But a lot of engineers have walked out and there is a possibility that understaffing Twitter will gradually undermine the functionality of the website. 

Things will start to go wrong because not enough engineers and developers are around to fix the ongoing problems.

It appears that Elon Musk has decided that Twitter is populated by lazy staffers. He wants to weed out anybody that he considers by his standards to be lazy and not contributing enough but is he being too brutal and direct?

He's offered three months' severance for those employees who want to leave. Over the weekend he is closing down the Twitter offices. Why is he doing this? I've heard on the news that he is frightened of a disgruntled employee sabotaging Twitter.

One employee, a tech writer called Gergley Orosz said that: "[It] sounds like playing hardball does not work. Of course, it doesn't."

It would be disappointing to lose Twitter. Firstly, I don't mind in the slightest, but it would negatively impact animal welfare I believe.

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