Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak leaves Elon Musk’s brain implant company

Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak leaves Elon Musk’s brain implant company [ad_1]

Elon Musk, founding father of SpaceX and chief government officer of Tesla, waves whereas arriving to a dialogue on the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday, March 9, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Neuralink President Max Hodak introduced on Saturday, by way of Twitter, that he’s now not with the well being tech enterprise he co-founded with Elon Musk, and has not been for a couple of weeks. He didn’t reveal the circumstances of his departure.

Fremont, California-based Neuralink is, “developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers,” in keeping with the company’s self-description on LinkedIn.

Musk – who can be the CEO of electrical automotive makers Tesla and the aerospace protection contractor SpaceX – has mentioned, with out exhibiting proof that is doable, that Neuralink’s gadgets might allow “superhuman cognition,” allow paralyzed folks to function smartphones or robotic limbs with their minds sometime, and “solve” autism and schizophrenia.

Founded in 2016, with Musk investing tens of tens of millions of his important private wealth, Neuralink can be creating surgical robotics to implant its gadgets, basically stitching tiny wires a couple of quarter of the diameter of a human hair to attach the implants to the brain.

Skeptics abound.

Musk described the surgical procedure to insert a Neuralink machine as taking lower than an hour.

Neuralink demo

After the August 2020 demo, MIT Technology Review deemed Neuralink “neuroscience theater,” in a scathing teardown of the presentation.

Musk doesn’t have a background in neuroscience or medical gadgets however, in keeping with a venture director at Neuralink quoted by The New York Times in 2019, has been “active in trying to help solve the engineering challenges that Neuralink faces.”

In the medical news site StatNews, a neuro-ethicist and physician named Anna Wexler wrote in an op-ed on April 7, 2021:

“In this new world of private neurotech development, company demos are live-streamed on YouTube and have the flavor of techno-optimism that involves proclamations about a future we have yet to see — but one that we are assured will come to pass. Data are sparse; rhetoric about making the world a better place is heavy.”

The subsequent day, Musk wrote in a sequence of tweets, once more with out offering proof:

“First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs

“Later variations will be capable to shunt indicators from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in physique motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for instance, paraplegics to stroll once more

The machine is implanted flush with cranium & costs wirelessly, so that you look & really feel completely regular”

On Saturday, Hodak was not immediately available to comment.

For Musk, Saturday was a day undoubtedly requiring more focus on his aerospace venture, SpaceX. After 167 days in space, astronauts in a crewed, SpaceX and NASA mission began their return flight home, with a “splashdown” expected around 2:57 a.m.

One of Hodak’s followers on Twitter asked him what’s next and he replied, “Not Jurassic Park.” The quip was a reference to a previous fantastical dialogue on the micro-blogging platform by which Hodak mused: “We might most likely construct jurassic park if we needed to. would not be genetically genuine dinosaurs however . possibly 15 years of breeding + engineering to get tremendous unique novel species.”

Neuralink is one of many medical tech companies working on a so-called “brain-machine interfaces.”

Competitors embrace these creating implants and non-invasive gadgets like headsets. Among them are Kernel, Synchron, Neurable and even Facebook within the U.S., CereGate in Germany and Mindmaze in Switzerland.

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