Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface (BMI) startup, Neuralink, has raised $205 million in Series C investment. Vy Capital led the investment round. Also participating were Google Ventures, DFJ Growth, Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures, Founders Fund, and Gigafund.
Other contributors include Robert Nelson (Co-Founder of ARCH Venture Partners) and Blake Byers (Byers Capital). Additionally, Sam Altman (Chairman of YC Group and CEO of OpenAI), Fred Ehrsam (Co-founder of Paradigm and Coinbase), and Ken Howery (Co-Founder of PayPal and Founders Fund) all partnered as well.
“The funds from the round will be used to take Neuralink’s first [BMI] product to [the] market and accelerate the research and development of future products,” the company said.
Neuralink is building a brain-machine interface or BMI that will connect the human brain to computers. According to the company, the technology will treat certain brain diseases and enable you to control a computer with just a thought.
CEO Elon Musk explained that the BMI will be surgically implanted into the brain. Then, it will enable the wearer to use their thoughts to send instructions to a computer with the help of a Neuralink app.
In February, the company released a video showing a monkey with a prototype BMI implant apparently playing Pong with his brain.
Doubts Over the Project
However, some experts say Neuralink’s BMI project isn’t feasible. Susan Schneider, a renowned psychologist, said merging AI with a human brain will be “mind suicide.” Another academic, Prof. Andrew Jackson, a neural interfaces expert, said Neuralink’s “idea of writing to the brain is questionable. [Because] there are fundamental limitations to [the procedure]”.
All the same, investors have maintained their faith in Neuralink. And the company remains committed to its cause. ” Every day we’re building better tools for communicating with the brain. With the right team, the applications for this [BMI] technology are limitless,” Neuralink’s website states.
Elon Musk’s BMI project might be his most incredible idea yet. But in the past, the tech guru has made his ideas work even in the face of serious odds. We’ll have to wait and see if he’s right about Neuralink too.