Neuralink: Elon Musk Breaks Twitter Silence on Secretive A.I.-Brain Firm
Elon Musk rarely acknowledges the existence of Neuralink on Twitter, his secretive company with the goal of some day connecting human brains to machines. It’s an outlier: The entrepreneur regularly updates his 23.5 million followers about his ventures like Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company. But a post Musk made Monday was the first time in 20 months that Musk had even mentioned Neuralink outside of conversation replies (which, to be fair, aren’t exactly uncommon).
Musk’s post gave little away about the company’s current status, instead inviting people to apply for jobs at the firm alongside three of his other companies. Musk founded Neuralink in July 2016, then eight months later teased a forthcoming post for WaitButWhy that would explain how the firm is fighting an “existential risk.” The 37,000-word story was published the following month, detailing how the technology would initially focus on medical applications before focusing on developing a symbiotic relationship between artificial intelligence and humanity. Musk has been unusually quiet about Neuralink: beyond Tuesday’s post and the March 2017 teaser, a search of his timeline for “Neuralink” showed two replies from August 2017 stating the company is not seeking investors, and one reply in July claiming the firm is just as important as his other ventures.
That’s not to say Musk no longer considers artificial intelligence a potentially existential threat. In an interview on Sunday he reiterated his long term plan to wire up brains to machines: “The long-term aspiration with neural networks would be to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence, and to achieve a democratization of intelligence such that it is not monopolistically held in a purely digital form by governments and large corporations…if we have billions of people with the high-bandwidth link to the A.I. extension of themselves, it would actually make everyone hyper smart.”
Neuralink’s website provides few clues about the project’s status. The front page lists 11 jobs in a variety of roles, with a header calling for “exceptional engineers and scientists” with “no neuroscience experience” required. A report in March claimed Neuralink CEO Jared Birchall sent a letter to San Francisco’s planning department seeking to renovate the company’s headquarters with a “small operating room for in vivo testing, and a small room to house rodents.”
Musk could reveal more details about Neuralink soon. During an appearance on “Joe Rogan Experience” in September, he said that “I think we’ll have something interesting to announce in a few months … that’s better than anyone thinks is possible.”
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