Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Inc., has come up with a new radical and far-fetched idea to build a supercomputer similar to that found in the Matrix movie trilogy.
Called Neuralink, SEC filings have revealed the scale of the firm for the first time. It has raised the $26.96 million of a technically still-open funding round that could grow to $100 million – although Musk took to Twitter to say the firm is no longer raising cash.
Neuralink is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices. He said creating a brain-machine interface will be vital to help humans compete with the ‘godlike’ robots of the future.
Musk believes connecting human brains into one large supercomputer could improve collective human intelligence
Neuralink was registered in California as a ‘medical research’ company last July, and he plans on funding the company mostly by himself. It will work on what Musk calls the ‘neural lace’ technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
In June, Musk said Neuralink is a priority after much more demanding commitments to his automotive and rocket companies. “Boring Co. is maybe 2 percent of my time; Neuralink is 3 percent to 5 percent of my time; OpenAI is going to be a couple of percent; and then 90-plus percent is divided between SpaceX and Tesla,” said Musk at the electric-car maker’s annual shareholder meeting.
Few details are known about Neuralink. The company’s sparse website says it’s “developing ultra-high bandwith brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.” It’s also recruiting engineers and scientists to join the effort.
“No neuroscience experience is required: talent and drive matter far more,” the company says on the site. “We expect most of our team to come from other areas and industries.” ‘If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person.’
He said the time before the devices are released depend on regulatory approval and how well the devices work on people with disabilities. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create computers so sophisticated and godlike that humans will need to implant ‘neural laces’ in their brains to keep up, Musk said in a tech conference last year.