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Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 25

Ok, so neither of those links were included in the summary when this was posted, but here is the full article:

Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers
Startup from CEO of Tesla and SpaceX aims to implant tiny electrodes in human brains
Neuralink is pursuing what Elon Musk calls 'neural lace' technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
by ROLFE WINKLER
March 27, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren't ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched another company called Neuralink Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Mr. Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

Mr. Musk has taken an active role setting up the California-based company and may play a significant leadership role, according to people briefed on Neuralink's plans, a bold step for a father of five who already runs two technologically complex businesses.

Mr. Musk didn't respond to a request for comment. Max Hodak, who said he is a "member of the founding team," confirmed the company's existence and Mr. Musk's involvement. He described the company as "embryonic" and said plans are still in flux but declined to provide additional details. Mr. Hodak previously founded Transcriptic, a startup that provides robotic lab services accessible over the internet.

Mr. Musk, 45 years old, is part businessman, part futurist. He splits his time between Tesla, which is under pressure to deliver its $35,000 sedan on time, and SpaceX, which aims to launch a satellite-internet business and a rocket that can bring humans to Mars. He is also pushing development of a super high-speed train called Hyperloop.

Somewhere in his packed schedule, he has found time to start a neuroscience company that plans to develop cranial computers, most likely to treat intractable brain diseases first, but later to help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines.

"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June.

The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"--essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain--that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function.

Mr. Musk has teased that he is developing the technology himself. "Making progress [on neural lace]," he tweeted last August, "maybe something to announce in a few months." In January he tweeted that an announcement might be coming shortly.

He hasn't made an official announcement, but Neuralink registered in California as a "medical research" company last July.

Mr. Musk has discussed financing Neuralink primarily himself, including with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies, according to a person briefed on the plans.

Neuralink has also discussed a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm started by Peter Thiel, with whom Mr. Musk co-founded payments company PayPal, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Neuralink hired leading academics in the field, according to another person familiar with the matter. They include Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing.

Reached by phone, Dr. Gardner confirmed he is working for Neuralink, but declined to elaborate on its plans. Dr. Sabes declined to comment. Dr. Tolosa didn't respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to SpaceX and Tesla, where Mr. Musk developed new rocket and electric-car technologies, proved they work, and is now using them to pursue more ambitious projects.

These people say the first products could be advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. Such implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of its technology and receive government approval, perhaps it then could move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, these people say. Mr. Musk alluded to this possibility in his comments last June, describing how humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it.

"Your output level is so low, particularly on a phone, your two thumbs just tapping away," he said. "This is ridiculously slow. Our input is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others pursuing the idea include Bryan Johnson, the founder of online payments company Braintree, who plans to pump $100 million into a startup called Kernel, which has 20 people and is pursuing a similar mission.

Mr. Johnson said he has spoken to Mr. Musk and that both companies want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential.

Facebook Inc. has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over four years to develop implantable neural interface technology.

The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom.

Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery.

In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."

If Mr. Musk indeed takes an active leadership role at Neuralink, that would raise more questions about his own personal bandwidth.

Tesla is building the largest battery factory on the planet to supply its forthcoming Model 3 electric vehicle, and it will need to produce hundreds of thousands of cars to meet its goal and justify its lofty market capitalization, which is approaching that of Ford Motor Co.
SpaceX has struggled to launch rockets fast enough to send satellites into orbit for its customers. Ultimately it wants to launch an internet-access business powered by more than 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites, ferry space tourists to the moon and then bring astronauts to Mars.

Even so, Mr. Musk has proved many naysayers wrong. Traditional auto makers said he could never sell a popular electric car. Military-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket.

Write to Rolfe Winkler at rolfe.winkler@wsj.com

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 201

I'd say "Who cares" but obviously you do.

I get a bit upset when they tinker with a classic tale to just be politically correct, or controversial, etc.

The old characters were just fine as they were.

If they want to create new tales and do gay characters...why not?

But there's no need to do what they did to B&B. They didn't need to make a black orphaned Annie. The classics were just fine as they were. If you want to have diversity for the sake of diversity, just make new tales that are inclusive of characters that are written originally as those types of minorities or life choices.

Comment Re:Innovation (Score 1) 201

Normal people use a laptop or tablet these days to watch TV grandad.

That's fine if you're out on the road traveling, or maybe having a meal out by yourself....

But geez, why would anyone watch on a tiny screen when you have a nice HD or now becoming prevalent 4K televisions....60" or so?

I mean, those things are bought by people (usually with real jobs of a few years), and I know that I'd much rather watch a good movie on my large screen TV with a quality surround system I have in my living room.

Not everyone is a college student with no money and can only watch on a tablet or laptop.

Some people work and have disposible cash and actually buy things to enjoy with it....

I find it difficult to get a bunch of friends over for beers and gather 6-8 of us around a tablet or laptop to watch a game or movie....?

Comment Re:Good. (Score 3, Interesting) 201

Per the article:

It is expanding into new genres such as children's fare, reality TV and stand-up comedy specials

PLEASE Netflix, don't go down the route of fscking "reality tv"....please....

If it gets overrun by reality crap, I"ll drop netflix.

Hell, if they ever syndicate something awful like the existing kardashain shit out there, I"ll possibly pull the plug on NF.

I like a lot of what NF is doing, I do wish they'd get back a little more of the commercial movie stuff, but in all I'm fairly happy with their offerings.

But geez, "reality" tv type stuff has ruined what used to be good networks.

DIY...dead to reality stuff, no longer DIY stuff.

Cooking Channel and FoodTV...I rarely see a show on there where someone actually cooks recipes to show and educate the view...it is some fucking contest or reality type cooking thing.

More and more seems to fall to this crap and it makes me sick.

The latest victim I've heard about, is the show I really used to like to watch, Wheeler Dealers on the Velocity channel.

The main part of the show, was with Edd China doing the mechanical work and explaining what was going on.

Well, apparently a US company has bought them off, and was going to cut the actual "meat" of the show drastically....and I envisioned, having Edd and Mike argue like the fucking Tuttle's did on that chopper show...?

I respect Edd...who QUIT the show. I'll not be watching it anymore.

So, Netflix...keep up the good work and leave the CRAP reality/contest shows to the regular networks that are rapidly becoming non-relavent anymore to anyone that wants to view something worth watching.

Comment Re:IN 1...2....3.... (Score 1) 119

What color is the skin on their code? It all looks the same on my IDE.

Well, the original article is alluding to the fact that indians (dot not feather) are so cheap over in India, but that their actual skill, professionalism and all is severely lacking.

In general if you say that about a race of people in general, you'll get immediately attacked.

Sure, one brush doesn't paint everyone, BUT...in my experience to date, in MANY years in IT...the indians that come to the US, while many can do rote coding, if the requirements are very well and specifically spelled out, they just cannot in general seem to innovate or come up with code or processes that require individual thinking, creation and invention.

I dunno if it is how they are taught over there, or something to do with culture, or what...but that's what I've seen over and over again.

I won't even go into how badly many/most of them I"ve see treat women in the work place. It seems they get away with it too, whereas I'd be canned in a moment if anyone heard me spouting some of the stuff they say not very quietly.

Comment Re:Typical of America. It always belittles... (Score 1) 119

Needless to say, he returned to our company as a consultant on some project that had incurred budgetary overruns and incompetency.

All at the hands of our so-called American trained "engineers."

I can't speak to the specifics of this situation but I have seen others where the desires of in-house personnel were ignored but when the same initiatives are suggested by a consultant, they're followed with gusto.

Don't blame the engineers, blame the management.

LK

Comment Re:Exactly (Score 1) 206

Is the issue "protecting the loved ones" or evading social responsibility?

Err...exactly what social responsibility do I have to live up to, when it comes to my decision on where to live, where best to raise my kids, where best to invest my housing dollars for best resale?

This "social responsibility" is some kind of new concept you just came up with.....?

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 315

That's a neat trick, unless they mean their IDEA of their computer rather than the physical hardware.

If it rendered the computer unusable, then that's the same thing from the user's point of view, who then has to spend money to have someone fix their computer — money they may not have.

Windows is shitty, not malicious.

Uh, no. It's spyware which cannot be disabled. That's not the same as eating your data, but it is malicious.

Comment Re:ATM decline (Score 1) 311

Contrast that with an ATM where you have to hunt for your bank's machine or face an extortionate $2 charge to withdraw from a rival bank's machine.

My credit union belongs to an ATM co-op, you insensitive clod! I can deposit or withdraw money all over the place without any fees. Lately all the ATMs take cash without an envelope and count it for you while you wait, so I have no qualms about doing so, either. Maybe your bank is just shit.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 4, Insightful) 311

I pay cash at the filling station, at the grocery store, at restaurants, and more. Why? Because it tends to be faster. While others are waiting for their card to clear through the computer I've got my change and I'm gone.

On what planet do you live? How is going inside, waiting in line, paying for gas, pumping it, and going back inside and waiting again for your change faster than just swiping your card at the pump (or holding your phone up to the NFC reader), pumping your gas, and hanging the nozzle back up when you're done? For the others, you're trusting that the people involved can do basic arithmetic quickly enough and accurately enough to get your change right in a timely manner. On the occasions that I do pay cash, if I hand over $4.10 instead of $4.00 for a $3.85 purchase, maybe half the time I get a blank stare in return. Hand them plastic and you don't burden their feeble minds with having to make sense of that.

There are plenty of good reasons to hang onto cash, but transaction speed isn't one of them.

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