Neuralink president Max Hodak tweeted on Saturday that he has left the company he founded with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk xxx. Hodak did not explain why he left the company, nor did he explain the circumstances prior to his departure. “I am no longer with Neuralink (since a few weeks ago),” he tweeted. “I learned a lot there and will continue to be a huge cheerleader for the company! On to new things. “
✨A personal news: ✨ I am no longer with Neuralink (since a few weeks ago). I learned a lot there and will continue to be a huge cheerleader for the company! On to new things.
– Max Hodak (@max_hodak) May 1, 2021
Neuralink aims to develop brain-machine interfaces. Last month, the company posted a video on YouTube that appeared to show a monkey with a Neuralink implant in its brain moving a cursor on a computer screen using only its mind.
Musk and Hodak founded Neuralink along with several other people in 2016, and Musk has invested millions of dollars of his own money in the venture. Last year, Stat News reported that some former employees described a chaotic internal culture at Neuralink, saying the scientists were not always given enough time to complete projects.
While Neuralink didn’t invent brain-machine interfaces, its technology includes thin, flexible wires and more electrodes than other devices, potentially delivering more data. Musk has stated that Neuralink’s technology could one day be used to make this happen paralyzed people to walk again and enable humans to achieve “AI symbiosis”, merging the human brain with artificial intelligence.
But some in the scientific and medical world have criticized Neuralink and are skeptical of its scientific claims; following a demonstration in August 2020 of a pig implanting a Neuralink device in its brain, MIT Technology Review called the company “Neuroscience theater,” said “most of the company’s medical claims remain highly speculative.”
And so The Verge’s Nicole Wetsman wrote last year: “Repairing the brain is not a technical problem.” Scientists need to learn a lot more about how the brain works before any of the concepts Musk describes can take place, she added. “The brain is still mysterious and the neurological causes of things like anxiety and addiction are still unclear,” Wetsman wrote.
Hodak did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.