A “biocomputer” powered by human brain cells. Johns Hopkins University researchers expect such technology to exponentially expand the capabilities of modern computing and create novel fields of study, the institution based in both USA and Italy announced in a press release. The team outlined their plan for “organoid intelligence” in the journal Frontiers in Science.
“Computing and artificial intelligence have been driving the technology revolution, but they are reaching a ceiling,” said Thomas Hartung, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins, who is spearheading the work. “Biocomputing is an enormous effort of compacting computational power and increasing its efficiency to push past our current technological limits.”
A futuristic computer
Computers that run on “biological hardware” could in the next decade begin to alleviate energy-consumption demands of supercomputing that are becoming increasingly unsustainable, Hartung said. Even though computers process calculations involving numbers and data faster than humans, brains are much smarter in making complex logical decisions, like telling a dog from a cat.
It might take decades before organoid intelligence can power a system as smart as a mouse, Hartung said. But by scaling up production of brain organoids and training them with artificial intelligence, he foresees a future where biocomputers support superior computing speed, processing power, data efficiency, and storage capabilities.
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