Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos Make Big Bets On Neuralink Rival — But Is Elon Musk Worried?


As Elon Musk’s Neuralink surrounds itself with controversies and a federal investigation, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are backing one of its key rivals, Synchron. But Musk doesn’t seem too worried, at least publicly. 

What Happened: Gates, best known for co-founding Microsoft Corporation, and Bezos, founder of, have invested in Synchron, the endovascular brain-computer interface, or BCI company. 

However, Musk’s reply to a tweet saying Musk and Bezos are currently competing in various segments, including brain-machine interfaces, hints that he finds this rivalry amusing. 

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Why It’s Important: Gates Frontier and Bezos Expeditions are among the new investors who took part in Synchron’s $75 million Series-C funding round led by ARCH Venture Partners on Thursday. 

Synchron uses BCI in its flagship Synchron Switch to restore some capabilities to paralyzed patients. According to the company, it allows patients to move a computer cursor on a screen with just their thoughts. 

BCI is implanted with a minimally-invasive procedure in the blood vessel on the surface of the brain’s motor cortex via the jugular vein. In contrast, other companies, including Neuralink, use more invasive techniques that involve going through the skull, reported Fortune. 

During the “Show & Tell” event earlier in December, Musk replied to a question regarding the safety issues with Neuralink devices when actively planted in a brain by saying he’d approve implanting the chip into one of his kids “if they broke their neck.” Musk also said that Neuralink will have its first device in humans in less than six months. 

Read Next: Mark Zuckerberg Calls Out Elon Musk’s Neuralink: ‘You Want The Mature Version Of That’

Photo: Courtesy of National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution and OnInnovation on Flickr


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