A Neuralink cofounder left Elon Musk’s brain-chip company, leaving it with just 2 of its 8 founding members

  • Neuralink cofounder Paul Merolla announced he has left the company in a blog post.
  • Merolla said he was leaving to pursue a new project which is “still in stealth.”
  • Sources told Reuters two out of eight Neuralink cofounders remain at the company, one of whom is Elon Musk.

LoadingSomething is loading.

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s neurotechnology company which wants to put AI-enabled computer chips into people’s brains, has lost another of its founding members.

Reuters first reported Neuralink cofounder Paul Merolla had departed in recent weeks.

Merolla then confirmed this posts on LinkedIn and his personal website, saying he had left the company on June 3.

He said he had decided to leave Neuralink to pursue a new project which is “still in stealth.” Merolla said it was a “difficult decision” to leave the company he helped found.

“I hope I get a chance to work with Neuralink again in some capacity, and I look forward to seeing our work improve the lives of patients who suffer from brain injury,” he wrote.

Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Neuralink has now lost six out of eight founding members, leaving just Musk and engineer Dongjin “DJ” Seo.

Neuralink president Max Hodak left the company in May 2021, and in February 2022 invested in rival neurotechnology startup Synchron.

Synchron has beaten Neuralink to human trials. It received the greenlight for human testing from the Federal Drug Administration in July 2021, and announced this week it implanted its first device into a US patient.

Neuralink is working to develop an AI chip that could be implanted in a person’s skull with electrodes fanning out into the brain. These electrodes would be able to monitor and potentially stimulate brain activity.

The company has said the first use case it’s working towards is allowing quadriplegic people to control digital devices with their minds.

Musk has touted more far-fetched future applications for the technology, saying he believes it could facilitate “symbiosis” between humans and artificial intelligence.

Neuralink has yet to begin human trials. Musk said during a live interview in December 2021 the company hopes to begin human testing in 2022. He previously gave 2020 and 2021 as years when the company could begin human trials.

Neuralink and Merolla did not respond when contacted by Insider outside of usual US working hours.

Read More

insider@insider.com Isobel Asher Hamilton