Facebook has a major interest in artificial intelligence, and according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has invested in a company called Vicarious.
Joined also by SpaceX/Tesla CEO Elon Musk and actor Ashton Kutcher, the three were part of a recent $40 million investment round.
The funding round was led by VC firm Formation 8 who believes strongly in what the company is working on:
“Companies that pioneer a fundamental technological breakthrough often come to define entire industries. I believe Vicarious has the potential to become one of these companies.”
Little is known about Vicarious, but here’s what it hopes to accomplish:
Replicating the neocortex, the part of the brain that sees, controls the body, understands language and does math. Translate the neocortex into computer code and “you have a computer that thinks like a person,” says Vicarious co-founder Scott Phoenix. “Except it doesn’t have to eat or sleep.”
Simple enough, right? The technology could still be decades away, as replicating our brain activity is a difficult task even for the most advanced super computers.
According to a Facebook spokesman, Mark Zuckerberg invested in Vicarious as a personal project, though with the social network having its own AI team, I’m not so sure that’s the case.