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马斯克的新难题:旗下Neuralink被控虐待猴子

马斯克的新难题:旗下Neuralink被控虐待猴子

JONATHAN VANIAN 2022-02-16
Neuralink的研究导致23只猴子中的15只死亡或被安乐死。

埃隆?马斯克旗下的初创公司Neuralink主要开发用于“脑机接口”的大脑植入芯片。日前,美国动物保护组织“负责任药物医师委员会”(Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,PCRM)称,将对该公司提起法律诉讼。该组织一向反对在动物身上进行医学试验,之所以对Neuralink不满,是因为据称该公司及进行合作研究的加州大学戴维斯分校虐待医学实验用猴。

PCRM此前表示,将于2月10日向根据《动物福利法》负责监管实验用动物的美国农业部发起针对Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校的行政诉讼。戴维斯分校曾协助Neuralink使用灵长类动物进行大脑计算研究。PCRM希望美国农业部对Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校工作人员涉嫌虐待猴子的几起事件进行调查。其控诉援引了戴维斯分校留存的实验动物看护记录,称Neuralink的实验用猴因接受手术导致慢性感染,出现心理创伤,因此引发了“极度痛苦”。PCRM称,如果Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校的违规行为属实,希望农业部对这两家单位进行处罚。

加州大学戴维斯分校发言人指出,该校与Neuralink的合作关系已于2020年结束。其补充说,戴维斯分校的实验动物照护和使用委员会“详尽审查并批准”了Neuralink合作项目的研究方案。“我们尽力为实验动物提供最好的照料,动物研究一向受到严格监管,加州大学戴维斯分校完全遵守了所有适用法律与农业部的规定,”该发言人说。

PCRM一向公开反对动物实验。2005年以来,其已对多家学术机构发出指控,主要目的是获取有关动物实验的公开记录。作为其指控目标之一,Neuralink却不同寻常,极为引人注目。由于其创始人知名度过高,该公司的研究吸引了巨大的公众关注,舆论铺天盖地,正面和负面的都有。(这就是埃隆·马斯克效应。)去年4月,该公司在YouTube上发布了一段视频,显示一只脑中植入Neuralink芯片的猴子用大脑玩一款名为Pong的电子游戏,目前视频播放量已达近600万。去年,马斯克表示,他希望在2022年底前开始Neuralink大脑芯片的人体实验。

去年5月,PCRM在加州高等法院单独对加州大学戴维斯分校发起诉讼,指控该校拒绝提供与Neuralink研究相关的动物照护记录,其行为违反了《加州公共记录法案》。最近,戴维斯分校向PCRM提交了其所需记录。

加州大学戴维斯分校的灵长类研究机构,名声一向显赫。2017年,Neuralink与该大学签署了一项协议,规定大学提供研究人员,支持公司开展脑机芯片技术的研究。自那以来,Neuralink在加州大学戴维斯分校至少用23只猴子进行了实验研究,实施了外科植入手术。

PCRM的研究宣传协调员杰里米?贝克汉姆(Jeremy Beckham)对《财富》杂志表示,PCRM认为,根据该大学的记录,其进行的研究导致23只猴子中的15只死亡或被安乐死。当Neuralink与加州大学戴维斯分校的研究协议于2020年终止时,该校将余下的七只猴子转移到了Neuralink。(贝克汉姆说,不清楚最后一只猴子发生了什么,因为该记录骤然中止于2019年11月。)

尽管PCRM已收到加州大学戴维斯分校提交的相关记录,但该组织还声称,戴维斯分校还有保留。该学校应该还存有猴子的视频、照片和身份编号,可以提供更多证据,证明它们受到了虐待。基于去年五月的诉讼请求,PCRM已做修改,计划于2月10日在加州发起一场新的诉讼,要求戴维斯分校提交那些尚未公开的材料。

针对PCRM指控加州大学戴维斯分校隐瞒信息,该校发言人提出异议表示:“我方完全遵守了《加州公共记录法案》,已对PCRM的要求作出回应。”

贝克汉姆说,加州大学戴维斯分校提交的一份记录详细描述了一只猴子“由于过度疲劳而完全瘫倒在地”。材料显示,这只猴子的照料者称,当时一直采取视频录像的方式对其健康状况进行监控。

“说实话,我们知道,浏览这些视频和照片会令人难受。但是我们希望能够得到视频记录,进一步向人们披露埃隆·马斯克注资实验室里的真实情况,”贝克汉姆说。

贝克汉姆坦言,PCRM反对所有形式的用于医疗目的的动物实验。如果对其他研究大脑计算的学术机构进行调查,尽管它们不像Neuralink那样高调和知名,“也会发现存在同样的问题”。他补充说,PCRM认为,加州大学戴维斯分校作为一家公立机构,有义务揭露其与Neuralink合作研究的真面目。

“在亿万富翁私人资金的驱使下,加州大学戴维斯分校的研究人员前呼后拥,甘为左右。我认为,这引发了一系列深层的道德伦理问题,即这些项目是如何审查通过的,”他补充说。

多位脑计算专家对《财富》杂志表示,迄今为止,就Neuralink公开发布的信息来说,参与实验的动物似乎是健康的。例如,一些消息灵通人士指出,播放量奇高的“MonkeyPong”视频里,那只猴子看起来精力充沛、条理清晰。

然而,贝克汉姆表示,目前PCRM获得的医疗记录“似乎与人们在Neuralink及其公关部门选择性发布的视频中的情况不符。”(财富中文网)

译者:Transn

埃隆?马斯克旗下的初创公司Neuralink主要开发用于“脑机接口”的大脑植入芯片。日前,美国动物保护组织“负责任药物医师委员会”(Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,PCRM)称,将对该公司提起法律诉讼。该组织一向反对在动物身上进行医学试验,之所以对Neuralink不满,是因为据称该公司及进行合作研究的加州大学戴维斯分校虐待医学实验用猴。

PCRM此前表示,将于2月10日向根据《动物福利法》负责监管实验用动物的美国农业部发起针对Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校的行政诉讼。戴维斯分校曾协助Neuralink使用灵长类动物进行大脑计算研究。PCRM希望美国农业部对Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校工作人员涉嫌虐待猴子的几起事件进行调查。其控诉援引了戴维斯分校留存的实验动物看护记录,称Neuralink的实验用猴因接受手术导致慢性感染,出现心理创伤,因此引发了“极度痛苦”。PCRM称,如果Neuralink和加州大学戴维斯分校的违规行为属实,希望农业部对这两家单位进行处罚。

加州大学戴维斯分校发言人指出,该校与Neuralink的合作关系已于2020年结束。其补充说,戴维斯分校的实验动物照护和使用委员会“详尽审查并批准”了Neuralink合作项目的研究方案。“我们尽力为实验动物提供最好的照料,动物研究一向受到严格监管,加州大学戴维斯分校完全遵守了所有适用法律与农业部的规定,”该发言人说。

PCRM一向公开反对动物实验。2005年以来,其已对多家学术机构发出指控,主要目的是获取有关动物实验的公开记录。作为其指控目标之一,Neuralink却不同寻常,极为引人注目。由于其创始人知名度过高,该公司的研究吸引了巨大的公众关注,舆论铺天盖地,正面和负面的都有。(这就是埃隆·马斯克效应。)去年4月,该公司在YouTube上发布了一段视频,显示一只脑中植入Neuralink芯片的猴子用大脑玩一款名为Pong的电子游戏,目前视频播放量已达近600万。去年,马斯克表示,他希望在2022年底前开始Neuralink大脑芯片的人体实验。

去年5月,PCRM在加州高等法院单独对加州大学戴维斯分校发起诉讼,指控该校拒绝提供与Neuralink研究相关的动物照护记录,其行为违反了《加州公共记录法案》。最近,戴维斯分校向PCRM提交了其所需记录。

加州大学戴维斯分校的灵长类研究机构,名声一向显赫。2017年,Neuralink与该大学签署了一项协议,规定大学提供研究人员,支持公司开展脑机芯片技术的研究。自那以来,Neuralink在加州大学戴维斯分校至少用23只猴子进行了实验研究,实施了外科植入手术。

PCRM的研究宣传协调员杰里米?贝克汉姆(Jeremy Beckham)对《财富》杂志表示,PCRM认为,根据该大学的记录,其进行的研究导致23只猴子中的15只死亡或被安乐死。当Neuralink与加州大学戴维斯分校的研究协议于2020年终止时,该校将余下的七只猴子转移到了Neuralink。(贝克汉姆说,不清楚最后一只猴子发生了什么,因为该记录骤然中止于2019年11月。)

尽管PCRM已收到加州大学戴维斯分校提交的相关记录,但该组织还声称,戴维斯分校还有保留。该学校应该还存有猴子的视频、照片和身份编号,可以提供更多证据,证明它们受到了虐待。基于去年五月的诉讼请求,PCRM已做修改,计划于2月10日在加州发起一场新的诉讼,要求戴维斯分校提交那些尚未公开的材料。

针对PCRM指控加州大学戴维斯分校隐瞒信息,该校发言人提出异议表示:“我方完全遵守了《加州公共记录法案》,已对PCRM的要求作出回应。”

贝克汉姆说,加州大学戴维斯分校提交的一份记录详细描述了一只猴子“由于过度疲劳而完全瘫倒在地”。材料显示,这只猴子的照料者称,当时一直采取视频录像的方式对其健康状况进行监控。

“说实话,我们知道,浏览这些视频和照片会令人难受。但是我们希望能够得到视频记录,进一步向人们披露埃隆·马斯克注资实验室里的真实情况,”贝克汉姆说。

贝克汉姆坦言,PCRM反对所有形式的用于医疗目的的动物实验。如果对其他研究大脑计算的学术机构进行调查,尽管它们不像Neuralink那样高调和知名,“也会发现存在同样的问题”。他补充说,PCRM认为,加州大学戴维斯分校作为一家公立机构,有义务揭露其与Neuralink合作研究的真面目。

“在亿万富翁私人资金的驱使下,加州大学戴维斯分校的研究人员前呼后拥,甘为左右。我认为,这引发了一系列深层的道德伦理问题,即这些项目是如何审查通过的,”他补充说。

多位脑计算专家对《财富》杂志表示,迄今为止,就Neuralink公开发布的信息来说,参与实验的动物似乎是健康的。例如,一些消息灵通人士指出,播放量奇高的“MonkeyPong”视频里,那只猴子看起来精力充沛、条理清晰。

然而,贝克汉姆表示,目前PCRM获得的医疗记录“似乎与人们在Neuralink及其公关部门选择性发布的视频中的情况不符。”(财富中文网)

译者:Transn

A medical group that opposes medical testing on animals plans to take legal action against Neuralink, the startup founded by Elon Musk to develop brain implants that could act as brain-computer interfaces, the group told Fortune. Central to the group's complaint: allegations that Neuralink and a university with which it partnered on research mistreated monkeys in medical experiments.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) said that it would file an administrative action on Thursday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against Neuralink and the University of California, Davis, which helped Neuralink conduct its brain computing research on primates. The medical group wants the USDA, which regulates animal research under the Animal Welfare Act, to investigate several instances of alleged mistreatment of monkeys by both Neuralink and UC Davis personnel. That alleged animal mistreatment resulted in chronic infections caused by surgeries, psychological distress, and “extreme suffering,” according to the complaint, which cites animal care records maintained by the university. The complaint asks the USDA to penalize both Neuralink and UC Davis if the alleged violations are corroborated.

A UC Davis spokesperson noted that the university's Neuralink partnership ended in 2020. The spokesperson added that the university's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee "thoroughly reviewed and approved" the research protocols of its project with Neuralink. "We strive to provide the best possible care to animals in our charge," the UC Davis spokesperson said. "Animal research is strictly regulated, and UC Davis follows all applicable laws and regulations including those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

PCRM has publicly advocated against animal testing, and since 2005 it has filed lawsuits against multiple academic institutions, primarily to seek public records about animal experiments. But Neuralink makes an unusually visible target: Its research has grabbed a disproportionate amount of public attention, positive and negative, thanks to its founder’s high public profile. (Call it the Elon Musk effect.) A video of a monkey using a Neuralink brain implant to play the video game Pong, posted on YouTube last April, has already been viewed nearly 6 million times. And last year, Musk said he hoped to begin testing Neuralink’s implants in humans by the end of 2022.

PCRM recently obtained the animal care records related to Neuralink’s research from the university, after it filed a separate lawsuit in California Superior Court last May alleging that UC Davis was withholding the records from the group in violation of the California Public Records Act.

In 2017, Neuralink signed a deal with UC Davis, home to an esteemed primate research facility, for the startup to conduct research for its brain-computer chip technology with help from UC Davis personnel. Since then, Neuralink’s research into surgical implants has involved at least 23 monkeys at UC Davis.

Based on the university’s records, PCRM believes that 15 of those monkeys died or were euthanized as a result of the research, PCRM research advocacy coordinator Jeremy Beckham told Fortune. When the research agreement between Neuralink and UC Davis ended in 2020, the university transferred seven monkeys to Neuralink, he said. (Beckham says it’s unclear what happened to the 23rd monkey, as the records end abruptly in November 2019.)

Despite receiving certain records from UC Davis, PCRM also alleges that the university has withheld videos, photos, and identification numbers related to the monkeys that the group believes will show more evidence that the primates were mistreated. The group plans to separately file an amended complaint in California on Thursday based on its previous May lawsuit, seeking the information it believes was withheld.

The UC Davis spokesperson disputed PCRM's allegations that it withheld information and said, "We fully complied with the California Public Records Act in responding to their request."

Beckham said that one of the UC Davis records details a monkey “who actually collapsed from exhaustion and suffered from seizures,” and that the monkey's caretakers noted that they were videotaping its behavior to monitor its health.

“So we know that these videos and photographs are going to be disturbing, frankly,” said Beckham. “We want to be able to get access to these videos and kind of show people a little bit more of the reality of what it's like inside this Elon Musk–funded laboratory.”

Beckham acknowledged that PCRM opposes all forms of animal testing for medical purposes, and that if it were to investigate other academic institutions researching brain computing that lack the high profile of Neuralink, it “would find some of the same issues.” But he added that PCRM believes UC Davis has an obligation, as a public institution, to reveal the nature of its work with the startup.

“Here you have researchers at UC Davis moving around and operating at the whim of private funding by a billionaire,” Beckham said. “I think it raises some deeper ethical questions here about how these projects are scrutinized,” he added about the animals.

Multiple brain-computing experts have told Fortune that based on the public demonstrations that Neuralink has released so far, the animals involved appear to be healthy. For instance, several sources noted that in the widely viewed “MonkeyPong” video, the primate appeared vigorous and coherent.

Beckham, however, said that the medical records the group has obtained so far “don't seem to match up with what we see in the video that Neuralink and their public relations people are choosing to release.”

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