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Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 105

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:Thanks for the ad, I guess, but you missed some (Score 3, Insightful) 99

A lot of products flat out fail trying to recover R&D expenses. I am not saying this is one of those, as Intel has huge resources behind any tech it brings to market.

The idea here (in the long run), is that Drives and "memory" become the same space. Instant on, fast access to Nonvolatile RAM, and RAM becomes equivalent to 4 tier processor cache.

I've long predicted that memory space is going to be flattened out and everything is going to be mapped as one big logical drive, measured in access speed to data that is frequently needed. Closer / Faster, Further / Slower

Comment Re: no thanks (Score 2, Informative) 356

Citation Needed.

I can assure you, that if it was "Right Wing Christians Nationalists" every CNN, NBC and NewYorkTimes piece would announce it, in BIG BOLD HEADLINES!!!!

Every terrorist attack, you can see the "Lets not jump to conclusions, this could be right wing terror ... and then it turns out to be another Muslim Jihadi nutjob.

I remember the Pulse Nightclub, initial reports were "RIGHT WING!!!!!" ... and nope.

Comment Re:Can't see the forest for all the trees (Score 1) 395

Batman vs Superman was an okay one time movie, not worth the popcorn and soda that a theater experience requires, but watchable one time movie, just to see WonderWoman and Aquaman.

Certain actors shouldn't fill certain roles. It would have been much better to find an unknown to play Batman than put Ben Affleck in that role. He doesn't have the ability to pull it off. Being behind the mask, requires greater acting ability than normal, because you have to convey more with movement. It doesn't work for Ben as Batman. Though He works in "The Accountant" because his acting ability is fairly wooden, like the character, it works.

Henry Cavill sort of works for Superman, mainly because he "looks" the part.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

If the situation is exactly the same up to the point of your two options, then there is a "Self digging shovel" available at some level in both situations. In situation #2, it isn't for sale, and unless you can conclusively promise shovel in one year, for only $5,000 then option 1 is still the only valid consideration. Further, if option 2 says there are no patents (assuming that is the change) then I can build a shelf digging shovel today for whatever price, and as long as the value I get out of it is better than before, I'll get my $20,000 shovel either way.

1) 20000 for shovel get 30000 use from shovel in year one. Year two is how much (no answer in option 1) is it free, or nearly free? Does it cost 20K / year forever (unlikely) or what. Incomplete information leads to bad decisions.

2) Can't buy Self Digging shovel (unknown reason). Promise that they will be available in a year for $5000 (if you believe vaporware promises)

all the unknown variables make your assumptions useless, which is why I chose (and still choose) option 1. Based on the INFORMATION I have, it is the only real choice.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

Heck, you can still charge the same amount as a well-written patent, but can crank it out in an afternoon!

Legal profession robots coming soon for this reason alone. Yes, good lawyers will always be needed, but most "lawyering" today is boilerplate legal forms and processes that can be replicated by a series of questions that pick which process one needs. We can get rid of most lawyers and and streamline the legal processes.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

In that world, do you think we'd successfully get rid of patents? Also, have you given thought to the implications of getting rid of patents?

No. And Yes.

We'll never because its in the Constitution, and that is next to impossible to change. And I have, and it is liberating of enterprise. I prefer "trade secrets" to Patents for protection anyway.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 4, Insightful) 242

They are written vague on purpose, because to be specific, would allow others to build upon your patent, and patent their improvements, locking you into a stale old way of building said invention, never able to improve it.

As a libertarian, I am all for the repealing of most patents, and the shortening of the term of protection. As it stands now, patents do not protect anyone from anything for very long. If something is popular, and patented, it will be cloned and ripped off anyway.

Patent abuse is like anything else the government does, it doesn't help many people, and hurts more people than it helps.

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