What we (don't) know about Elon Musk's Neuralink chip that promises to restore sight to the blind

After getting the first results with the chip Telepathy of Neuralink on a human being, Noland Arbaugh, who managed to move the mouse pointer with his mind, now there would be another success for the bio-engineering company: a blind monkey would be able to see again thanks to Blindsight (literally “blind vision”), an implant that can be installed in the skullcap. He declared it with a tweet on X Elon Musk, founder of Neuralink. According to the American entrepreneur, the plant would be already operational although, in its current form, it would not allow the monkey to see clearly: the resolution would be “similar to that of an old console Nintendo, but ultimately it could surpass the human one.” According to Musk, therefore, this device could in the future give sight to blind people, even those who have been blind since birth. Finally, the tycoon declares that “no monkey has died or suffered serious damage from a Neuralink device”.

It is not clear at the moment how does it work exactly this device. We can assume that it is a device that works in the “opposite” way to Telepathy: while the latter reads brain patterns and translates them into commands that it sends to a device, Blindsight could take signals (perhaps coming from a small video camera ) and send them to the brain's visual cortex so it can process them, thus bypassing the damage or condition – in the eye or optic nerve – that prevents the subject from seeing.

In general when we talk about Neuralink it is good to clarify that we are moving in the dominion of the uncertain: in this case, in addition to Musk's tweet, Not videos or demonstrations are available that the product works in the manner and with the results described. There lack of transparency it is in fact one of the main criticisms that the scientific community addresses to Neuralink.

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Even if a test has actually been performed on a primate, it is reasonable to think that Blindsight is in a state of development yet far from what is necessary to start mass production of the device, even considering that there hasn't been any yet experimentation on humans.