Somehow Elon Musk has found the time to start another company.
The company — called Neuralink — will be the vehicle for the development of the "neural lace" Musk discussed on Twitter and elsewhere, the The Wall Street Journal first reported. Musk later confirmed the existence of the company in a tweet and said that more details were coming "in about a week".
The "neural lace" Musk has talked about is typically described as an implant or an appendage that would be attached to the brain, that would provide a way for brains to interact with devices, or otherwise augment human intelligence.
Speaking at the Code Conference in 2016, Musk said to think of the arrangement this way: "You have your limbic system, the cortex, and then a digital layer, sort of a third layer above the cortex that could work well and symbiotically with you."
Though the lace would interact directly with a person's brain, Musk said implanting it might not require extensive surgery, remarking that it could be injected into the veins.
The Journal reports that one of Musk's co-founders at Neuralink is Max Hodak, who co-founded a company called Transcriptic.
Hodak's bio at the Transcriptic website says he was a "research assistant at Duke University Medical Center, where he built brain-machine interfaces for monkeys. As a member of the lab, he witnessed on a regular basis the inefficiencies of basic laboratory work that he felt were ripe for robotic optimization."
Neither Hodak nor Musk were immediately available for comment.
In addition to his responsibilities running Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX, Musk has taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence, which he has at times characterized as a potential threat to the survival of the human species.
To that end, he is one of the sponsors of the the nonprofit OpenAI project, whose mission is to build AI that is "safe," and ensure that the benefits of AI research are "are as widely and evenly distributed as possible."
Musk believes that humans merging with machines is the only way to stop us becoming irrelevant in the age of AI.
"Some high bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem," Musk explained at a conference in February.
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