Neuralink President Max Hodak has left the neurotechnology company he co-founded with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. He revealed in a tweet late Sunday that he is no longer at Neralink as of a few weeks ago, but did not give any reason for his leaving the company.
Hodak wrote in the tweet “Some personal news: I am no longer at Neuralink (as of a few weeks ago). I learned a ton there and remain a huge cheerleader for the company! Onward to new things.”
San Francisco, California-based Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Hodak co-founded the company in July 2016 along with Musk, Tim Hanson, Tim Gardner, Vanessa Tolosa, Ben Rapoport, Paul Merolla, Dongjin Seo and Phillip Sabes.
Prior to cofounding Neuralink, Hodak founded Transcriptic in February 2012 and was its CEO for five years. This company focused on creating a robotic cloud laboratory for life sciences.
Hodak had earlier in January 2008 founded MyFit, a company focused on creating software capable of forecasting the likelihood of high school students being accepted into universities. He sold MyFit to Naviance in October 2010.
In mid-2019, Musk said the company aims to develop a Brain-Machine-Interface that will allow for the seamless communication between the innards of the human brain and technological devices such as the smartphone.
Neuralink successfully put together a device that was able to grant a monkey the power to “control a computer” using its brain. In July 2020, Neuralink reportedly obtained a FDA breakthrough device designation which allows limited human testing under the FDA guidelines for medical devices.
Musk had earlier shared that some of the primary functions of such a device is to understand and treat neurological disorders such as parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, in addition to mood disorders including depression, anxiety and OCD. The invention should also be able to “preserve and enhance your own brain,” he added.
He also explained that one of the long-term goals of the seemingly impossible venture is to merge the human mind with Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the future in order to combat the existential threat posed by it.
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