Entrepreneur Elon Musk confirmed on Tuesday via Twitter the launch of a new venture company, called Neuralink, which aims to develop brain-computer interface. According to people familiar with the matter, the company will pursue what Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may eventually upload and download thoughts, The Wall Street Journal reported. Musk said recently that "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."
The people noted that Musk, who is chief executive of Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies, has taken an active role setting up Neuralink, which will be based in California where it was registered as a medical research company last July. Max Hodak, who said to be a member of the founding team, referred to the company as "embryonic," adding that plans are still flexible without providing additional details. According to another person familiar with the matter, Neuralink recently hired leading academics in the field, including Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University, who confirmed that he is working for Neuralink.
The neuroscience company reportedly plans to develop cranial computers, which The Wall Street Journal suggests will likely be used initially to treat intractable brain diseases. The sources suggested that the first products to be developed by Neuralink could be advanced implants, built on electrodes currently used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease, to treat conditions such as epilepsy or major depression.
If the technology is approved as safe and efficient, the company may develop cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, the people said. In his tweet, Musk said more details about Neuralink would be revealed "in about a week."
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