A year ago, Elon Musk has revealed that he had co-founded a new startup that is named as Neuralink, the motive of this was to implement a brain-computer interface or as it was later called as a “wizard hat for the brain.” Such interfaces, in their current iterations, are mainly used for treating Parkinson’s disease and the other brain disorders and later the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has flowed $65 million into this research. The tech industry notices them as transformative devices. These devices will potentially enable advancements in silent, thought to text typing or even the telepathy. Musk has always been uncharacteristically quiet about his work at Neuralink, except to suggest in an interview that was held in April 2017 with “Wait But Why” that the company is much interested in treating disorders related to the brain and within a timeframe of the next decade they are trying to enable telepathy through neural implants.
Though Neuralink has always been much secretive about its work since its launch in the past year. Neuralink’s sparse website has stated that the startup is still under development, “ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.” It has always failed to mention, however, that Neuralink is at least preparing to test its devices on animals, if not already doing so.
One of the startups first attempts, as per the public records obtained by Gizmodo, the startup was trying taking the necessary first steps for transforming its San Francisco headquarters into a machine shop and an animal testing laboratory. Neuralink later claimed to city officials that it has abandoned the laboratory remodel. Moreover, the company is currently running research at one of the famous universities- the University of California’s Davis campus and the other evidence points to continued ambitions to create its own lab. The public records provide some of the only insight into Neuralink’s activity in its year of existence.
One of the spokespeople for Neuralink declined to comment on this story. Musk did not respond to a request for comment. However, he has been a little productive on Twitter about his many ventures, and he has tweeted about Neuralink three times (two of the tweets were disputing a Wall Street Journal report that the company had missed a fundraising goal; Musk said Neuralink isn’t fundraising at all). Compare it to dozens of tweets about The Boring Company, his tunneling venture that also hawks promotional hats, flamethrowers, and Lego-like bricks made out of leftover rocks.
Many tech entrepreneurs want their products to elicit the same emotions as the sprinkling of fairy dust that arcs over the castle at the beginning of any Disney movie—the audience should feel like they’re about to experience something very very special and more beyond a little magical. It’s the gut acknowledgment Steve Jobs made use of his infamous “one more thing” announcements at Apple keynotes, the mythical promise made by the futurist Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
But this sort of magical things aren’t real, and the people who promise it to you are performing a skill-of-hand, trying to convince you to look away from something. That something might be the sweat of the workers that went into the product, a clever technical advancement that a company doesn’t want its competitors to copy, or the animals that usually serve as beta testers. Looking to read more about Elon Musk’s Neuralink? Click here.