Max Hodak, president of Neuralink, a company co-founded by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk that aims to connect the human brain with computers, said he left the company a few weeks ago. Hodak gave no reason to leave.
Hodak, who is also a co-founder of Neuralink, said in a Twitter post on Saturday that he has learned “a lot” at the company and remains a “great cheerleader” from this. Although Hodak did not reveal his next move, he did mention that he is moving towards new things. In response to comments, he appeared not to consider “Jurassic Park” as a possible option, referring to his recent statement that Neuralink could build a real version of Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur clone park.
Hodak said on Twitter on April 4: “This is not a genetically real dinosaur,” Hodak said. “It might take 15 years of breeding and engineering to get a new super peculiar species.”
As someone who had nightmares about dinosaurs due to Jurassic Park, I said no thanks.
Neuralink launched in 2017 and aims to connect human brains with computers using ultra-high-bandwidth brain interfaces or implantable chips. Musk said the product has many uses, from allowing paraplegics to use smartphones to allowing paraplegics to walk again. Musk believes that Neuralink can also help humans achieve “symbiosis” through artificial intelligence, allowing us to keep up with advanced technology.
Neuralink made headlines in April when it claimed that it had a monkey named Pager to play the video game Pong, and released a video that clearly proved it. The researchers implanted Neuralink on both sides of the 9-year-old macaque’s brain about six weeks before recording the video.
Before learning to play Pong, the researchers taught Pager how to use the joystick. When he moved the cursor to the light-emitting block on the screen, the banana smoothie delivered through the straw rewarded him. This exercise allowed the Neuralink device in his brain to record its activity through more than 2,000 electrodes implanted in the area of the motor cortex, which coordinate hand and arm movements.
The data is then fed into the Neuralink decoder algorithm so that the expected movements of the monkey’s hand can be predicted. After a few minutes of calibration, the decoder fully understood Pager’s neural pattern, so the monkey no longer needed the joystick to move the cursor to the block. The narrator of the video says that Pager can move it as much as he wants. Then there was the so-called “Ming Pong” parade.