Elon Musk's Neuralink vs. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos' Synchron: Billionaires Race to Unlock Your Brain

The human brain, often referred to as the most advanced computer in existence, is responsible for regulating our bodies, storing vast amounts of information, and processing it almost instantly. As such an essential part of our existence, damage to the brain can lead to life-altering consequences.

In an effort to comprehend the complexities of the brain and to replicate its capabilities, some of the wealthiest individuals are investing billions of dollars to advance modern technology. One such example is Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, who launched Neuralink in 2016 with a $100 million investment. Neuralink's focus is on developing brain-computer interfaces, and in 2021, the company showcased a monkey playing pong using only its brain to control the game. Despite numerous controversial claims about Neuralink's potential applications, the company has faced scrutiny and investigations for allegations ranging from handling hazardous pathogens to animal deaths.

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Neuralink recently secured $205 million in a Series C funding round, with participation from Alphabet Inc’s Google Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners Founder Robert Belson, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and other influential investors. However, Musk isn't the only one pouring significant resources into brain research. Microsoft Inc. Co-Founder Bill Gates and Amazon Inc. Founder Jeff Bezos have also invested in Synchron, a startup focused on deciphering the brain's neural code. Synchron raised $75 million in its Series C round, which included investments from Gates Frontier, Bezos Expeditions, ARCH Venture Partners, Alumni Ventures, and numerous other venture capital funds. The funds raised will help accelerate the development of Synchron's first platform product, the Synchron Switch, a brain-computer interface (BCI).

Synchron's website boasts 105 patents and claims to have developed "an endovascular brain-computer interface that can access every corner of the brain" through its 400 miles of blood vessels.

Both Neuralink and Synchron are nearing the stage of conducting human trials, indicating that this groundbreaking technology may not be far from becoming a reality. While the specific outcomes and applications of these advancements are yet to be seen, it is undeniable that the progress being made in this field is nothing short of extraordinary. As billionaire visionaries continue to invest in brain research and development, the potential for life-changing innovations in neuroscience and technology is immense.

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Even retail investors have been getting in on the action recently. TruBrain is a startup building FDA-cleared wearable technology and supplements for brain health and anxiety control. The profitable venture-backed company launched an equity crowdfunding round, which means anyone can invest, and already raised over $1.2 million from retail investors

In fact, nearly every tech company topping the ‘largest companies in the world list’ have exposure to or are building into brain-focused technology.

Reports surfaced for Apple Inc. in early 2022 about hiring positions to create BCIs and creating ‘think tanks’ for the technology as early as 2009.

Microsoft is more public with their research, outlining and updating the public about their endeavors on a page found here.

Meta Platforms Inc. is arguably one of the most public and avid researchers in this area. Having poured hundreds of billions into their metaverse dreams, the company has largely pioneered some of the most advanced technology in this space specifically as it relates to augmented and virtual reality. 

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