Back in April, we learned about Elon Musk’s neural lace company, Neuralink, which hopes to make brain-computer interfaces a reality. Now, however, he’s got into a bit of a spat about how the company is being funded.
The Wall Street Journal claimed the company had raised $27 million of a target $100 million, with 12 investors currently on board. Musk, however, took to Twitter to deny those claims.
“Neuralink is not raising money,” he said in one tweet. In another, he added: “WSJ [the Wall Street Journal] has been laboriously negative for over a decade. I'm surprised they haven't bored their readers to death by now.”
He then also posted a rather spicy reply to Rolfe Winkler, a journalist who worked on the WSJ piece, tweeting a fire emoji and, uh, a poop emoji.
Who’s right? We don’t know. We also don’t know quite why Musk is so riled up about this. If he wanted to get investment for Neuralink, he could possibly do it pretty easily.
In the early days of SpaceX, Musk largely funded the company himself, through money he’d made from X.com (later Paypal). Considering he’s now considerably richer, he probably wouldn’t have too much difficulty funding Neuralink himself as well.
Since that announcement in April we haven’t heard too much, but to be fair Musk has been busy with SpaceX, Tesla, and Hyperloop. We do know the goals are to essentially increase mental output, treat people with severe brain injuries, and possibly enable some form of telepathy.
It sounds a bit far-fetched, sure. But then, so did reusable rockets and a mass-market all-electric car a few years ago, too. Sure, we don’t yet know for sure who’s funding Neuralink, but it’s safe to say it’s probably not in any financial trouble at the moment.
Musk’s broader plans for Neuralink remain a bit of a mystery for now. The company has a simple website that says it is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.”
It also adds it is looking for “exceptional engineers and scientists” to work full time in San Francisco, with no neuroscience experience actually being required. “We are primarily looking for evidence of exceptional ability and a track record of building things that work.”
Just remember, if you do get a job there, don’t ask Elon Musk where the money’s coming from.