When he isn’t busy running Tesla or SpaceX, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is reportedly setting up a new company called Neuralink. The artificial intelligence venture plans to pursue “neural lace” technology, which makes use of tiny, connected brain implants.
These brain implants will likely be used to treat intractable brain diseases at first, but some futurists suggest that they could be used to help humans keep up with the pace of intelligent machines.
He proposed a solution that involves integrating artificial intelligence with the human brain in a “direct cortical interface”. Although Musk has not made a formal statement regarding Neuralink, the company registered in California as a “medical research” group last July, according to the news outlet.
In the last month, Neuralink has reportedly hired leading academics including an engineer from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Vanessa Tolosa; a professor from the University of California in San Francisco, Philip Sabes; and a professor from Boston University.
According to an unnamed source, Musk has considered financing Neuralink with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies. The group has also mentioned a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm founded by Peter Thiel.
It is still unclear what exactly Neuralink will create. People familiar with the group’s efforts said that the 1st products could be next-gen brain implants used to treat brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression. If the company’s technology proves to be safe and effective, it’s feasible they could move to using the brain implants to advance human brain functions.
Last year, Musk pointed out that this could be useful, as the brain struggles to process information as quickly as we see it.
“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence,” he said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.