- Neuralink, the neural tech company founded by Elon Musk in 2016, is holding a public demo of its much-hyped brain-machine interface technology on Friday in a livestreamed event.
- Neuralink is working on an AI-powered “brain chip” connected to wires which fan out into the human brain, capable of both recording brain activity and stimulating it.
- It’s unclear what exactly Neuralink will reveal on Friday, but Musk tweeted earlier this week that the broadcast will include a live demo of a “working device,” and he has previously made ambitious claims that the technology could enable human “symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
- Scientists are impressed by some components of Neuralink’s design and its potential to help people with people with neural conditions and disorders, but they’ve expressed skepticism about just how much it has advanced the decades-old field.
- STAT News also recently reported that, ahead of the demo, some former employees have described internal chaos, tight deadlines, and a strategy that’s “immature at times.”
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Elon Musk’s neural tech company, Neuralink, is set to hold a live demo on Friday of its much-hyped AI-powered brain chip.
Neuralink, which Musk co-founded in 2016, has been working on a brain-machine interface that involves a tiny microchip that could, theoretically, be implanted behind a person’s ear with tiny threads containing electrodes fanning out into the brain.
The company has not offered details about what exactly it will show off to the public on Friday, but Musk tweeted earlier this week that the demo would feature a “working Neuralink device.”
During a Q&A session at a live presentation in July 2019, Musk surprised his Neuralink colleagues by announcing that the firm had tested its technology on monkeys with some success, though the company has yet to produce any evidence supporting that claim.
Musk has even wilder ambitions for Neuralink, claiming that, in addition to treating neural conditions such as Parkinson’s, he hopes the chip could one day facilitate a “symbiosis” between humans and AI.
While scientists have expressed skepticism about many claims from Musk and the company, they have been impressed with some of the company’s breakthroughs, most notably the “sewing machine” it developed to insert ultra-thin wires into the brain.
STAT News also reported earlier this week that several former Neuralink researchers expressed concerns about a chaotic culture within the company characterized by a clash between tight deadlines and the slower pace typical of scientific research.
They told STAT that the company is using tech’s favored “move fast and break things” approach to building a medical device, and that “the strategy is very immature at times.”