Timeline of Neuralink

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This is a timeline of Neuralink, a San Francisco-based neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and others, which aims at developing implantable brain–machine interfaces (BMIs).

Big picture

Time period Development summary
2016 Neuralink launches.
2017 Neuralink is announced publicly.
2018 Neuralink intends to conduct tests on animals. By late year, Elon Musk for the first time publicly invites people to apply for jobs at the company. He also announces Neuralink aspires to symbiotically merge human brains with a super digital intelligence.
2019 A presentation of Neuralink is held, informing publicly on the latest news about the technology. The company cumulates US$158 million in funding and employs a staff of 90 people.
2020 Neuralink human test of brain-computer interface could start around this year.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1970s Prelude Research on brain–computer interfaces begins at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under a grant from the National Science Foundation, followed by a contract from DARPA.[1][2]
1997 Prelude Dr. Richard Norman at the University of Utah develops the Utah electrode array, a tiny piece of silicon, only a quarter of an inch on its side, with 256 electrodes that can be attached to the central nervous system to listen to neural activity.[3]
1998 Prelude The first sensor is implanted in the brain of a paralyzed patient. Since then, at least about a dozen people would receive similar implants.[4]
2009 Prelude American inventor Raymond Kurzweil that by 2020 we’ll have "computers that are powerful enough to simulate the human brain. However, we won’t be finished yet with reverse engineering the human brain and understanding its methods".[5][6]
2011 Competition Emotiv is founded as a US-based bioinformatics company which works in understanding the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG).[7] It would later be listed among the top Neuralink competitors.[8]
2015 Competition BrainCo is founded. The company develops brain-machine interface (BMI) technology products including sensors, hardware, software, and AI. It would later be listed among the top Neuralink competitors.[8]
2016 June Prelude At Recode’s Code conference, South African entrepreneur Elon Musk discusses his "neural lace" proposal, a brain–computer interface.[9][10]
2016 July 11 Launch Neuralink is founded by Elon Musk, Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla, Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson, and Vanessa Tolosa.[11][12]
2016 Competition Kernel is founded. It builds advanced neural interfaces to treat disease, illuminate the mechanisms of intelligence, and extend cognition. It would later be listed among the top Neuralink competitors.[8]
2017 January Company Elon Musk buys the name Neuralink from a pair of neurotechnology researchers that owned the trademark on "NeuraLink" since 2015 after creating their own startup company.[13]
2017 February Research Neuralink executive Jared Birchall submits a letter to the city of San Francisco's planning department giving some clues about the company’s plans and files permit to build biological research lab.[14]
2017 February Notable comment Elon Musk claims that "people would need to become cyborgs to be relevant in an artificial intelligence age."[15][16]
2017 March 28 Company Elon Musk confirms the existence of Neuralink, and reveals that a longer story about Neuralink would appear on explainer website Wait But Why in a week.[17][18]
2017 May Staff Shivon Zilis joins Neuralink as Project Director.[19]
2017 April 20 Review Wait But Why editor Tim Urban posts the first deep look at Neuralink, after Musk petition from about a month and a half before.[20] Musk confirms plans for the company, revealing he will be the chief executive of a startup that aims to merge computers with brains so humans could one day engage in “consensual telepathy.”[21]
2017 June Research Neuralink scientists start researching at the University of California, Davis campus.[22]
2017 July 19 Company Elon Musk talks about Neuralink in an interview at the ISS R&D Conference in Washington, DC., and says the reason he went to create Neuralink was primarily as an offset to the existencial risk associated with artificial intelligence.[23]
2017 August 25 Company Elon Musk tweets: "Neuralink is not seeking investors."[24]
2018 March Notable comment At a South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas, Elon Musk calls AI more dangerous than nuclear warheads and says there needs to be a regulatory body overseeing the development of super intelligence.[25]
2018 March Research Report communicates that Neuralink has plans to test products on animals.[26]
2018 May Funding Neuralink agrees to fund primate research at the University of California. The company is expected to pay US$796,006 for research conducted at UC Davis' California National Primate Research Center, one of seven centers nationwide dedicated to the study of health and disease on primates.[27][28]
2018 August Staff Alan Mardinly joins Neuralink as Member of the Technical Staff.[29]
2018 November Company In an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, Elon Musk says Neuralink aspires to symbiotically merge human brains with a super digital intelligence that will serve as a tertiary cognition layer augmenting the human cortex and limbic systems.[30][31]
2018 November Company In an interview, Elon Musk hints that Neuralink would first introduce microcontrollers to further advance computer-brain interface technology, i.e., possibly unveiling an initial version of what will eventually become a “neural lace.”[32][33]
2018 November 26 Employment Elon Musk tweets mentioning Neuralink for the first time in 20 months, inviting people to apply for jobs at the firm alongside three of his other companies.[34][35]
2019 May Funding Bloomberg reports on Neuralink having raised US$39 million of its planned US$51 million funding target.[36]
2019 July 16 Company Elon Musk and Neuralink president Max Hodak host a presentation of the company in San Francisco, informing publicly on the latest news about the technology.[37]
2019 July 18 Company Elon Musk tweets about Neuralink: "Addressing epilepsy is likely one of the more near-term applications".[24]
2019 July Funding Neuralink cumulates US$158 million in funding (of which $100 million comes from Musk) and employs a staff of 90 employees.[38]
2019 August 28 Notable comment Elon Musk says during interview that computers are getting smarter, so much so that they could quickly surpass human intelligence "in every single way".[39][40]
2019 September 5 Competition American Internet entrepreneur Jag Singh publishes a project based on work at the MIT Media Lab to construct a brain–computer interface that allows users to telepathically query Google Search, anticipating Neuralink's BCI.[41][42]
2019 October Staff Joshua Hess joins Neuralink as Electrical Engineer.[43]
2020 Clinical trial According to July 19 Elon Musk's report, Neuralink human test of brain-computer interface could start around this year.[44][45][46]
2029 Prediction According to 2009 Raymond Kurzweil prediction, by this "scientists will have reverse-engineered, modeled and simulated all the regions of the brain. That will provide humans with the software and algorithmic methods to simulate all of the human brain's capabilities including the emotional intelligence."[5][6]

Numerical and visual data

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of August 11, 2021.

Year Neuralink
2016 8
2017 134
2018 292
2019 370
2020 596
Neuralink google schoolar.png

Google Trends

The comparative chart below shows Google Trends data for Neuralink (Company), The Boring Company (Company) and OpenAI (Artificial intelligence company), from January 2004 to March 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[47]

Neuralink, The Boring Company and OpenAI gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Neuralink, from 2010 to 2019.[48]

Neuralink ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Neuralink, on desktop, mobile-web, desktop-spider, mobile-web-spider and mobile app, from July 2015 to February 2021.[49]

Neuralink wv.png

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links

Official site


  1. Vidal, JJ (1973). "Toward direct brain-computer communication". Annual Review of Biophysics and Bioengineering. 2 (1): 157–80. PMID 4583653. doi:10.1146/annurev.bb.02.060173.001105. 
  2. J. Vidal (1977). "Real-Time Detection of Brain Events in EEG" (PDF). IEEE Proceedings. 65 (5): 633–641. doi:10.1109/PROC.1977.10542. 
  3. Markman, Jon. "Elon Musk's Other Big Start-Up, Neuralink, Is Gaining Momentum". thestreet.com. Retrieved 2 September 2019. 
  4. "Elon Musk's dreams of merging AI and brains are likely to remain just that — for at least a decade". theverge.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Neuralink: How the Human Brain Will Download Directly from a Computer". interestingengineering.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  7. "Emotiv". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  8. "Elon Musk Full interview Code Conference 2016". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  9. Etherington, Darrell. "Elon Musk-backed Neuralink to detail its progress on upgrading the brain to keep pace with AI". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  10. "Neuralink". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  11. Masunaga, Samantha (21 April 2017). "A quick guide to Elon Musk's new brain-implant company, Neuralink". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. "Meet the Guys Who Sold "Neuralink" to Elon Musk without Even Realizing It". technologyreview.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  13. "Elon Musk's Neuralink files permit to build biological research lab". teslarati.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  14. Isackson, Peter. "The Daily Devil's Dictionary: Will "Everyone" Benefit?". fairobserver.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  15. "Elon Musk says plan to merge humans with machines is aimed at stopping a 'Terminator'-style scenario". cnbc.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  16. "Neuralink". witter.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  17. Constine, Josh. "Elon Musk's brain interface startup Neuralink files $27M fundraise". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  18. "Shivon Zilis". linkedin.com. Retrieved 28 February 2020. 
  19. "Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future". waitbutwhy.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  20. "Elon Musk Lays Out Plans to Meld Brains and Computers". wsj.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  21. "Elon Musk's Neuralink Startup Planned to Test on Animals, Report Claims". inverse.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 
  22. "Elon Musk - A.I., Biology, Neuralink". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  23. "Elon Musk: 'Mark my words — A.I. is far more dangerous than nukes'". cnbc.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  24. "Brain implants intended for humans to be tested on animals". endtimeheadlines.org. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 
  25. "Neuralink Is Funding Primate Research at the University of California". gizmodo.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  26. "Neuralink - UC Davis Primate Center - Services Agreement". scribd.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  27. "Alan Mardinly". linkedin.com. Retrieved 29 February 2020. 
  28. "Elon Musk on Joe Rogan - what is Neuralink". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  29. "Elon Musk's Neuralink Plans to Put Chips in Human Brains by 2020". syncedreview.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  30. "Elon Musk's Neuralink to livestream special project update on July 16". teslarati.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  31. "ELON MUSK LATEST INTERVIEW WITH AXIOS 25 NOVEMBER". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  32. "Elon Musk Breaks Twitter Silence on Secretive A.I.-Brain Firm Neuralink". inverse.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  33. "Neuralink". twitter.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019. 
  34. "Elon Musk's Neuralink startup raises $39 MILLION as it seeks to develop tech that will connect the human brain with computers". bak.megam.info. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  35. "Elon Musk's Neuralink Presentation: Live Recap of What Happened". heavy.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  36. Markoff, John (2019-07-16). "Elon Musk's Company Takes Baby Steps to Wiring Brains to the Internet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-17. 
  37. "Elon Musk says computers will eventually surpass us in every single way". digitaltrends.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 
  38. "Elon Musk: Computers will surpass us 'in every single way'". cnbc.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 
  39. "Merging with AI: How to Make a Brain-Computer Interface to Communicate with Google using Keras and OpenBCI". reddit.com. Retrieved 6 September 2019. 
  40. "Merging with AI: How to Make a Brain-Computer Interface to Communicate with Google using Keras and OpenBCI". medium.com. Retrieved 6 September 2019. 
  41. "Joshua Hess". linkedin.com. Retrieved 29 February 2020. 
  42. "Elon Musk says Neuralink plans 2020 human test of brain-computer interface". cnet.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  43. "Elon Musk's Neuralink targets human trials for brain-machine interface in 2020". teslarati.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  44. "Elon Musk Plans to Start Putting Chips in Human Brains Next Year". highsnobiety.com. Retrieved 1 August 2019. 
  45. "Neuralink, The Boring Company and OpenAI". Google Trends. Retrieved 19 March 2021. 
  46. "Neuralink". books.google.com. Retrieved 22 March 2021. 
  47. "Neuralink". wikipediaviews.org. Retrieved 22 March 2021.