The THB Desk
In the ever-evolving quest to create artificial minds, scientists have taken a groundbreaking step: they’ve connected clusters of human brain cells grown in the lab (called “brain organoids”) to computer chips, enabling them to perform basic tasks like recognizing spoken words. This marks a remarkable new frontier in bio-computing, potentially paving the way for computers that work more like the human brain and even surpass traditional machines in efficiency.
The team created a brain organoid from stem cells, integrated it with a computer chip, and linked the system, dubbed Brainoware, to an AI tool. The hybrid setup exhibited the ability to process, learn, and retain information, showcasing rudimentary speech recognition capabilities.
“This is a first demonstration of using brain organoids [for computing],” says Feng Guo at Indiana University Bloomington. “It’s exciting to see the possibilities of organoids for biocomputing in the future.”
Published in Nature Electronics, this research paves the way for potential advancements in bio-computing, hinting at the prospect of more efficient systems compared to traditional computers.
As per the published research paper, brain-inspired computing hardware aims to emulate the structure and working principles of the brain and could be used to address current limitations in artificial intelligence technologies. However, brain-inspired silicon chips are still limited in their ability to fully mimic brain function, as most examples are built on digital electronic principles.
Brainoware is “a bridge between AI and organoids,” Mr Guo said. “Organoids are like ‘mini-brains.'”
“We wanted to ask the question of whether we can leverage the biological neural network within the brain organoid for computing. This is just proof-of-concept to show we can do the job,” Mr Guo said.