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Elon Musk has launched and "may play a significant leadership role" in a new company called Neuralink, an attempt to realize Musk's idea of "neural lace" — implanted electrodes in the brain — that might one day allow humans to reach higher levels of cognitive function, per the WSJ.

  • The "medical research" company would likely have a two-step strategy, first pursuing implants to treat brain disorders while proving the safety of its technology before moving onto elective implants to boost brainpower.
  • Musk said that he believes humanity is "four or five years" away from this type of technology in a Vanity Fair profile.
  • Musk sees artificial intelligence as our "biggest existential threat" and views the cognitive improvements of neural lace as a way for humanity to fight back against "artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind."

Why it matters: Musk is known for pushing the envelope in just about every area of emerging technologies, from space travel and electric cars to high-speed trains and, now, adding advanced artificial intelligence into the mix. Taking a leadership role in yet another ahead-of-its-time venture will likely raise questions about Musk's ability to run the complex businesses — but he's proven doubters wrong before.

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Updated 7 mins ago - World

Protests erupt in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,909,062 — Total deaths: 732,128 — Total recoveries — 12,138,271Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,053,123 — Total deaths: 163,047 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  4. Public health: How America can do smarter testing.
  5. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Indoor air is the next hotspot.

Twitter jumps into the fray for TikTok

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Twitter is the latest to join the cast of the ongoing spectacle that is TikTok’s battle to stay open for business in the U.S., per a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The saga to keep TikTok available to U.S. users is getting more complicated, with the company already in a President Trump-imposed time crunch and juggling a number of options.