May 6, 2024 at 3:27 pm

Elon Musk Claims Neuralink Is Restoring Sight To Blind Monkeys, But Many Questions Remain Unanswered

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Twitter/@Neuralink

Elon Musk is no stranger to bad press, and although he’s been unwaveringly positive about the early results from his Neuralink implant, others have voiced some concerns about the health of his monkey patients.

Now, he’s claiming that the results aren’t all suspect – at least one blind monkey is now able to see again.

At least, that’s what Musk indicated in several interviews, stating that Neuralink is “curing blindness” with its “Blindsight” product.

“It’s already working in monkeys. Resolution will be low at first, like early Nintendo graphics, but ultimately may exceed normal human vision.”

This has not been confirmed, but if it was, it would be a sign that Neuralink is catching up with other brain-computer interface products and programs.

Because beyond the ability to wirelessly transmit signals, which could enhance usability, this kind of technology has been successful before.

Researchers have been working on brain-computer interfaces that can restore vision for many years. Scientists at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia built the world’s first “bionic eye” in 2020 that accomplishes this via brain transplant.

In 2021, researchers in Spain implanted an “artificial retina” that’s attached to a pair of glasses that can detect light, then processes into electrical signals and relays that data to the brain.

Scientists everywhere are looking for ways to enhance the resolution on these devices, so the issues Musk is describing aren’t at all unique.

There are also many outstanding questions about Musk’s experiment that he isn’t willing or able to answer.

Were the monkeys born blind? Was any of their optic nerve still intact? Did the implant actually start from scratch or did it simply reconnect broken pathways between the eyes and the brain?

None of those details about Blindsight are forthcoming, and without them, there’s no real way to comment on whether or not this could change actual human lives in the future.

But since the man is not known for telling the truth – he’s claimed no monkeys have been harmed testing Neuralink, which we pretty much know is false.

Basically, no one is going to be convinced until we see results with our own two eyes.

If you enjoyed that story, check out what happened when a guy gave ChatGPT $100 to make as money as possible, and it turned out exactly how you would expect.