Musk’s neurotechnology firm Neuralink raised $39 million. The round was for a planned $51 million. While the source of the funding is unclear, something big seems to be on the cards. In the last available filing, the firm had raised 427 million in a planned $100 million round.
San Francisco: Musk-owned neurotechnology company Neuralink has recently raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round. However, it is yet unclear if the funds come from traditional venture capital investors or if they are courtesy Musk and other employees. In their last filing, two years ago, the company had reported raising $27 million in a planned $100 million round.
Neuralink: A tale of energized neurons
The much-acclaimed CEO of SpaceX and Tesla announced the idea behind Neuralink back in 2017. The brain-computer interface venture is based on creating devices that can be implanted inside the human brain. Its objective is to help humans merge with software. This would thus help bring humans on par with the advancements in AI. In the longer run, this could result in an improvement of memory in humans. Moreover, it could allow interfacing with computers in the coming times and thus making communication easier and much more efficient.
Musk has actively stated his deep-seated distrust for AI. He has vocally expressed the need for humans to evolve sooner to live alongside the hyper-evolving AI. In his motion to avoid this possibility, Neuralink was born.
It was registered as a California medical research company in 2016. Since then, the firm has quietly operated from San Francisco. The company has actively hired away several high-profile neuroscientists from various universities. Further, it has contracted with a laboratory at the University of California, Davis to conduct research on primates.
Neurons link up with the venture
Musk, with this venture, has managed to simultaneously awe and driven off his followers. This venture reiterates the possibility of a connection between our brain and computers. The serial entrepreneur’s firm, with this funding, aims to further its research. The main objective is to make headway in the study of neural connections. With Musk mystically tweeting about the company, something big can surely be on its way.
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However, all isn’t rosy for this firm. With the huge number of its supporters, the firm has its fair share of protestants. A lot of people of raised concern at the product affecting the neuron lace. Affecting the neuron lace could point towards giving AI direct control over the human brain instead of the other way round. This possibility of abuse could be a huge hurdle for the firm.
Moreover, one of the co-founders and prominent early hires for the company, Tim Gardner, seems to be saying goodbye. He is taking up a professor of neuro-engineering at the University of Oregon. After completing a year in the firm, he seems to be going back to his older teaching ways.