The majority of people wouldn't get one of Elon Musk's brain implants if they were offered, a survey has shown.
In the wake of the first demonstration of the tech billionaire's revolutionary Neuralink concept, a survey says nine out of 10 people wouldn’t risk having the brain-monitoring device installed in their skulls.
Most of the people who said they were wary of the new technology cited security as the main concern – more than half believe the device would violate personal privacy.
Mr Musk has been making bold promises about his August 28 demonstration for several weeks – but industry experts were sceptical.
The MIT Review published a review of Mr Musk’s webcast in which he showed a pig which had a Neuralink device implanted.
It said that despite Mr Musk’s boasts of a long list of medical applications, nothing in the demo supported the claims and there was no mention of a firm schedule for clinical trials.
Thomas Nowotny, Professor of Informatics in the School of Engineering and Informatics at University of Sussex, told Daily Mail: "Recording from neurons in live animals is a standard procedure in neuroscience and is decades old."
Mr Musk described the Neuralink implant as “like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires” saying the interface could eventually be used to allow people with neurological conditions to interact with technology and control it with their minds.
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He said it could herald in an age of “superhuman cognition” and put humans on a par with artificial intelligence.
But first he’ll have to overcome people’s concerns about having a computer implanted in their skulls.
A survey commissioned by online marketplace OnBuy.com revealed 91% of people would not even consider getting a neural implant.
Two in five people are worried the implant could cause health issues and more than half believe it would violate personal privacy.
Of the 2,080 people surveyed by OnBuy the vast majority of people believe the technology can’t be trusted yet.
A total of 55% believe it would be a violation of personal privacy while two in five people (39%) said they were worried the implant could cause health issues.
A third (32%) think it could be used for spying.
Of the small portion of people who said they would actually get a neural implant (9%), the majority (84%) were between the ages of 18 and 30.
Three quarters of people surveyed (73%) also said they are excited to see the technology develop and 44% could be persuaded after seeing it advance further.
Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said, “With any new technology there is always a certain level of apprehension, however with neural implants being wired directly into the brain, it appears people are especially hesitant.
"It’s really exciting to consider the potential of this technology and how it could help with neurological diseases in the future – and who knows, in a couple of years you could be doing your online shopping just by thinking about it!”
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