Elon Musk’s new venture — our brains

Not quite content with infiltrating garages, roofs and lunar orbit, Elon Musk has set his sights on another target — the brain.

The visionary billionaire will play a lead role in an artificial-intelligence startup called Neuralink, focusing on integrating the human brain with computers, according to reports.

Musk expects to more fully reveal his vision for Neuralink next week. The company will design networks to link human brains with embedded electrodes capable of transferring thoughts to a computer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

An executive involved in the venture described the company as “embryonic.” The company was incorporated last year, and has hired several academics from medical research fields.

Musk acknowledged on Twitter that it was “difficult to dedicate the time,” but he feels the risk is “existential.”

Musk often warns of the dangers of artificial intelligence. He’s even suggested one reason to colonize Mars is to have an escape hatch if rogue AI brings havoc to earth.

The tech mogul will have to find the bandwidth to lead another venture. Musk leads Tesla and SpaceX, two companies facing major growth and challenges.

He’s also spun off an idea to create a tunnel boring company to drill holes under highways and subvert traffic.

Critics point to the troubles managing the aggressive expansions at Tesla, where Musk promises production will jump from 84,000 vehicles in 2016 to what would be a record-setting half-million vehicles in 2018.

And he’d like to send two private citizens around the moon next year on a SpaceX rocket.

CFRA analyst Efraim Levy raised his target for Tesla stock on news it received a vote of confidence from a major Chinese investor, Tencent, which has bought a 5 percent stake in the electric-vehicle company. The new company, however, could blur Musk’s focus on his core companies.

“We think some who like Elon Musk view news of his latest venture, Nueralink, as a reason to buy TSLA, but we note added risk of distraction for Musk,” Levy noted.

Photo: Tesla CEO Elon Musk listens as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 14, 2016. (Evan Vucci/AP)

 

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