Scientists will connect brain cells and artificial intelligence: it could be a revolution
In Australia, a group of researchers has received funding for a project in which they plan to combine the human brain with artificial intelligence. Earlier, the same researchers had already taught a test-tube-grown brain to play ping-pong on a computer.
According to a press release from Australia's Monash University, which will lead the project, a grant of more than $400,000 was allocated from the country's budget. The research will be conducted with the Melbourne-based startup Cortical Labs, which has previously "forced" approximately 800,000 brain cells in a petri dish to play ping-pong on a computer.
The idea of combining biology with artificial intelligence, according to scientists, can open up new frontiers of machine learning. This could be used in self-driving cars, autonomous drones, delivery robots, and more.
"This new technological capability could surpass the performance of existing silicon chip-based hardware in the future," said team leader and associate professor at Monash University Adil Razi.
He believes that the research findings will have a significant impact on various fields such as planning, robotics, advanced automation, brain-machine interfaces, and drug development.
The main advantage of building artificial intelligence based on the human brain is that it is likely to be able to "learn throughout its life" like human brain cells. This will allow AI to acquire new skills without losing old ones, as well as combine existing knowledge with new tasks.
Today's AI cannot do this and suffers from "catastrophic forgetting." In contrast, the human brain is capable of continuous learning throughout life.
Razi and his colleagues aim to grow brain cells in a laboratory dish called DishBrain to investigate the process of "continuous lifelong learning."
The researchers note that this is a very ambitious project that is likely to take a long time, so there is no reason to hope for quick results.
"We will use this grant to develop better artificial intelligence machines that replicate the learning capacity of these biological neural networks. This will help us scale the hardware and methods to the point where they become a viable replacement for in silico computing," Razi emphasized.
Earlier, researchers at biotech startup Cortical Labs created a "mini-brain" consisting of about 800,000 living human brain cells in a Petri dish. The cells are placed on top of an array of microelectrodes that analyze neural activity.
"We think it's fair to call them the brain of a cyborg," said Brett Kagan, Cortical Labs' chief scientist and project leader.
For their "test subject," the scientists created a simplified computer version of ping-pong with no opponent.
Then they found that the mini-brain was able to play such ping-pong very quickly for one person and its learning abilities were better than those shown by the AI.
"The amazing thing is how fast they learn - in five minutes in real time. It's really an amazing thing that biology is capable of," Kagan said.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also reported that Elon Musk's Neuralink company received permission to implant a chip into the human brain. The decision was made despite the fact that previous tests had killed more than 1500 animals.