ORGANOID INTELLIGENCE - A biological computing made from human brain cells.
"The human brain has 100, billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe." - Michio Kaku
According to the scientist, “Organoid Intelligence, or OI, is an emerging multidisciplinary field that uses brain-machine interface technology and 3D cultures of human brain cells (Brain organoids) to create biological computing.”
The next significant technological breakthrough is in the area of artificial intelligence, but scientists have already provided a taste of what the future may hold. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed organoid intelligence, which could provide computers that are faster, more effective, and more potent than current Artificial intelligence.
Scientists are optimistic that human brain-powered biocomputers will become a reality sooner than we had anticipated. This would dramatically increase the computing power available today and open up a new branch of intelligence.
They plan to develop clusters of brain cells called organoids and create techniques that will allow us to turn these clusters of cells into powerful and efficient computers. The technology is still in its infancy, but it has implications for everything from computer memory to neurodiagnostic.
The human brain is a marvellous and complex organ. Despite decades of research and scientific advancements, we still don't know how it works and why it works. But we know it's powerful. It might not be as fast as a computer at solving complex equations, but it's more energy efficient and it's also significantly better at learning and remembering. Recently, scientists have studied how brains and computers can combine to bring the power of the human mind within our reach.
“The most complex object in the known universe, the brain, only uses 20 watts of power. It would require a nuclear power plant to energise a computer the size of a city block to mimic your brain. So, if someone calls you a dim bulb, that's a compliment.” - Michio Kaku
These researchers hope to use human tissue samples to grow tiny numbers of brain cells that they can use instead of standard silicon computer chips. These clusters of cells, called "organoids", are larger and more three-dimensional than traditional cultures, allowing the neurons they contain to make more connections.
This is a technology that requires many scientific disciplines to bring to fruition. While some researchers are growing organoids of up to 10 million cells, scientists believe they will need to be able to run computers and access memory functions anywhere near the human brain, and others technologies we are developing will enable cell stacks. Let this group communicate and some progress has been made. For example, last year researchers created what they called "an organoid EEG cap," a flexible shell "densely covered with small electrodes that transmit signals from the organoids and send a signal to it." But building a very powerful computer isn't the only goal of these researchers. They also intend to analyze neurological problems and assist patients using these OI computers.
“For example, we can compare organoids to people and Alzheimer's patients train memory and try to restore relative deficits,” said Thomas Hartung, a researcher at Johns Hopkins and one of the authors of the study. " We can also use IO to test whether certain substances, such as pesticides, cause memory or learning problems is exciting to think about, but it's complex, and not only from a technical point of view.
Such research raises many thorny ethical questions. Is it possible to use human cells as a computer? Could a computer made of human cells generate consciousness? If so, is it correct to lock this awareness into the role of the computer? We're a long way from having OI in our laptops or phones, so we don't need to know all of these answers yet.
But they need to be part of the conversation around OI, regardless of where the technology is right now.
Now the whole field of research is just beginning. It's starting to look exciting, although there's more than computing potential to consider. For example, a recent study showed that flattened cultures of brain cells can learn to play ping pong, even without the added ability to become fully 3D organoids.
Comparison of Human brain and Supercomputer
Biological computing (or biocomputing) could be faster, more efficient, and more powerful than silicon-based computing and AI, and only require a fraction of the energy.
‘Organoid intelligence’ (OI) describes an emerging multidisciplinary field working to develop biological computing using technology for brain-machine interfaces and 3D cultivation of human brain cells (brain organoids).
OI necessitates the transformation of existing brain organoids into sophisticated, long-lasting 3D structures filled with cells and genes involved with learning, as well as their connection to next-generation input and output devices and AI/machine learning systems.
OI requires new models, algorithms, and interface technologies to communicate with brain organoids, understand how they learn and compute, and process and store the massive amounts of data they will generate.
OI research could also improve our understanding of brain development, learning, and memory, potentially helping to find treatments for neurological disorders such as dementia.
Ensuring OI develops in an ethically and socially responsive manner requires an ‘embedded ethics’ approach where interdisciplinary and representative teams of ethicists, researchers, and members of the public identify, discuss, and analyse ethical issues and feed these back to inform future research and work.
Organoid intelligence is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionize both AI and neuroscience. Miniature brain models can provide researchers with a more accurate and comprehensive model of the human brain, which can help us better understand how the brain processes information and how it can go awry in neurological disorders. As this technology continues to develop, we can expect to see more breakthroughs in both fields in the years to come.
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