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Twitter users are comparing Elon Musk’s Neuralink chip implants to a similar device featured in the hit dystopian anthology series, ‘Black Mirror’

Elon Musk.

Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Elon Musk is developing a brain implant for humans he formerly said may have the potential to “save and replay memories.”
  • Several Twitter users compared the technology to a similar device seen in an episode of Netflix’s “Black Mirror.”
  • The brain-chip technology is primarily aimed at helping provide more agency to people with physical limitations.

Twitter users are buzzing over new technology designed by Elon Musk that they say bears resemblance to a device featured on the hit the science-fiction drama, “Black Mirror.”

Though Netflix’s dystopian anthology series has been off-the-air since 2019, “Black Mirror” began trending on Twitter on Sunday after users began comparing Musk’s Neuralink brain implant chip to a similar device seen in a 2011 episode of the show. 

The comments came after Musk, Neuralink’s CEO and co-founder, announced earlier this week that he is hiring a clinical trial director, signaling the company is one step closer to testing the chips in humans.

Twitter users began to weigh in on the technology after pop culture media site Pop Crave shared a tweet that referenced remarks made by Musk in a 2020 company presentation.

“In the future you’ll be able to save and replay memories,” Musk said in the presentation. “This is increasingly sounding like a ‘Black Mirror,’ episode … Ultimately you could download them into a new body or a robot body.”

black mirror entire history of youA scene showing a character using the “grain” technology from “Black Mirror’s” 2011 episode, “The Entire History of You.”

Netflix

The series became popular over the past decade for commenting on and satirizing society’s relationships with technology. Its critically acclaimed 2011 episode, “The Entire History of You,” featured a brain implant device that allows people to record audiovisual memories and re-watch them at a later time. The fictional device also allows users to edit, censor, or delete recorded memories.

Twitter users compared the two devices, while also noting that Musk’s remarks also evoke the 2013 episode “Be Right Back,” where a character downloads a life-like artificial intelligence into a physical human body.

While some found humor in the resemblance, others voiced concern.

“Thanks to Black Mirror… It’s a no for me,” wrote one Twitter user.

“The real life Black Mirror episode is the fact we all watched Black Mirror and learned nothing,” wrote another.

—zae (@ItsZaeOk) January 22, 2022

Neuralink has not yet responded to Insider’s request for comment on the comparisons. 

According to Neuralink, the company’s brain-computer interface technology is designed to solve a number of physical limitations, including blindness, paralysis, and hearing loss. Musk previously said the product could allow users to operate a smartphone with their mind faster than using their thumbs.

The company also released a video of a monkey playing a video game using Neuralink’s brain implants.

 

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