Elon Musk’s Brain Chip Startup Neuralink Is Growing Rapidly Without Anyone Noticing
In July, Elon Musk unveiled an earth-shattering product made by a little-known biotech startup of his called Neuralink: a wireless implantable chip designed to connect human brains to a computer, or, in the billionaire futurist’s own words, “merge biological intelligence with machine intelligence.”
The brain chip was immediately a controversy. Although it was in pre-alpha stage and bound to face mountainous regulatory hurdles down the road, the idea quickly inspired similar proposals by Musk’s big tech peers while raising eyebrows in the science community, with the extreme case of a cognitive psychologist calling it “suicide of the human mind.”
The company itself, though, has stayed largely quiet since then, especially compared to other Musk-run companies that constantly grab news headlines. But the truth is, things have been moving fast inside the startup to make human-robot merger a reality.
Neuralink was incorporated in July 2016, but it was still a tiny operation by the time Musk introduced it to the world. It had 20 employees in August, according to LinkedIn data tracked by Thinknum, a site studying market trends by analyzing public records of tech companies. Neuralink also had 13 engineering and operational positions open for applicants on its internal career site at the time.
Since then, the company has more than doubled its workforce, As of last month, 45 people identified themselves as Neuralink employees on LinkedIn, per Thinknum records. Observer’s latest search for its employees returned 52 results, including one person on the “surgery team,” who has been on the team since August 2018.