By: Arwa Mahdawi | Don’t be brainwashed – Elon Musk’s ‘bionic pig’ is just a publicity stunt | Arwa Mahdawi | Neuroscience | The Guardian
The billionaire entrepreneur loves to make headline-grabbing claims, but behind the hype his innovations are often underwhelming
Here is a philosophical conundrum: if no one is talking about Elon Musk, does he really exist? The entrepreneur needs attention the way mortals need oxygen. If the 49-year-old is not in the news for a couple of days, he finds a way to shoehorn himself back into the headlines – even if it means piggybacking on international efforts to rescue children trapped in a cave, or calling his child X Æ A-12.
Behold the billionaire’s latest stunt: a bionic pig. On Friday, Musk livestreamed a “progress update” on Neuralink, his neuroscience startup. The star of the show was Gertrude, a pig with a chip in her brain. Musk is betting we will all soon be clamouring to get what Gertie has, which is what Musk described as “a Fitbit in your skull”. Neuralink’s ambition is to develop mass-market brain-computer interfaces that allow you to control things with your mind, as well as to cure depression, spinal injuries and neurological disorders.
Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist