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This is wonderful, I'm excited we are entering an age where its now becoming normal to use technology to augment or repair the human body. Rather than our old approach of letting medical science bodge a repair or remove faulty body parts, we are turning to Scientists and Engineers to design prosthesis and build replacements. Given a few years, would it be possible to design a better retina?

old approach of letting medical science bodge a repair

This is not even close to how medical science works. You really think surgeons, technicians, physical therapists etc. aren't scientists and engineers?

Well, considering my recent dealing with doctors and surgeons on this very subject of retina surgery...yes. I had torn retinas and the surgeon (who was very intelligent, and super nice) said that he is nothing more than a 'mechanic' since all they can really do at this stage is to 'tack' the torn parts of the retina back onto the back of the eye like a 'welder'. Their words, not mine. Surgeons generally defer to research scientist and engineers to carry out the research and cutting edge techniques, they practice those techniques on patients. Not belittling their work, but its research that comes up with this kind of stuff, not practicing doctors and surgeons.

On the one hand, I agree with that observation. On the other hand, it makes me think of the old (half a century or so) argument "but that is not AI, it is just X. It would have to do Y to be real AI", where this year's Y will, in 5 years time, be solved by a new X.

Yes, those surgeons in some sense are just mechanics/craftsmen, but what they do was research five years ago and they know they must stay up to date, so that they can do that Y by the time that new X has sufficiently developed. Also, many of them work on getting those new Xs to market, if only by helping in trials.

To be fair, a technician is categorically not an engineer or scientist. They're a technician.

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