There has been much development on utilizing organic material, specifically artificial and harvested neurons, in developing technology, while also developing neuron-computer interfaces to create a future of possibilities. Now a silicon-neuron hybrid that bring sentience to computers:
“Last year, Monash University scientists created the “DishBrain” – a semi-biological computer chip with some 800,000 human and mouse brain cells lab-grown into its electrodes. Demonstrating something like sentience, it learned to play Pong within five minutes.
“The micro-electrode array at the heart of the DishBrain was capable both of reading activity in the brain cells, and stimulating them with electrical signals, so the research team set up a version of Pong where the brain cells were fed a moving electrical stimulus to represent which side of the ‘screen’ the ball was on, and how far away from the paddle it was. They allowed the brain cells to act on the paddle, moving it left and right.
“Then they set up a very basic-reward system, using the fact that small clusters of brain cells tend to try to minimize unpredictability in their environment. So if the paddle hit the ball, the cells would receive a nice, predictable stimulus. But if it missed, the cells would get four seconds of totally unpredictable stimulation.
“It was the first time lab-grown brain cells had been used this way, being given not only a way to sense the world, but to act on it, and the results were impressive.”
Headpats are a nice, predictable stimulation…
“These programmable chips, fusing biological computing with artificial intelligence, ‘in future may eventually surpass the performance of existing, purely silicon-based hardware,’ says project lead, Associate Professor Adeel Razi.
“‘The outcomes of such research would have significant implications across multiple fields such as, but not limited to, planning, robotics, advanced automation, brain-machine interfaces, and drug discovery, giving Australia a significant strategic advantage,’ he said.”
They ignore the greatest implications: The development of catgirl cyborgs who can think and learn… and perhaps even enjoy headpats.
A little mood music: