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27 Aug, 2017 06:50

Superbrains getting closer? Musk ‘lines up $100m’ to fund Neuralink brain-computer interface

Superbrains getting closer? Musk ‘lines up $100m’ to fund Neuralink brain-computer interface

Elon Musk could be preparing to invest $100 million of his own money to fund Neuralink, the start-up the billionaire tycoon hopes will one day produce technology capable of connecting the human brain to a computer, and save us from AI overtake.

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) confirms that Neuralink already has $27 million in funding, and Musk took to Twitter Friday to shoot down suggestions that the company was looking for outside investors.

While Musk himself has been equivocal about the filing, Bloomberg stated that he “has taken steps to sell as much as $100 million in stock to fund the development.”

Neuralink remains a mystery to observers of the tech industry. The company’s website simply states that it is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.”

READ MORE: Elon Musk’s Neuralink could represent next stage of human evolution

In April, the blog ‘Wait But Why’ published a colossal blog post about the venture using stick-figure illustrations to explain Musk’s plan to merge the human brain with AI using brain implants.

Writer and cartoonist Tim Urban spent six weeks researching the idea, a process that involved meeting and interviewing Musk.

The billionaire investor, who is also the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, believes the technology is crucial to mankind’s survival in the face of machine-learning.

Last month, Musk sparked a debate about the future of AI after telling the US National Governors’ Association in Rhode Island that we could be facing a future in which intelligent machines destroy mankind.

“AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not. They were harmful to a set of individuals in society of course, but they were not harmful to society as a whole,” Musk told Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

READ MORE: Artificial intelligence ‘vastly more risk’ than N. Korea – Elon Musk

Musk drew a swift rebuke from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who labelled the comments “irresponsible.” Later, the SpaceX founder took to Twitter to say that he’d spoken to Zuckerberg and found his knowledge of the subject “limited.”