AI Could Be Made Obsolete By ‘OI’ — Biocomputers Running On Human Brain Cells

AI Could Be Made Obsolete By ‘OI’ — Biocomputers Running On Human Brain Cells

AI Could Be Made Obsolete By 'OI' -- Biocomputers Running On Human Brain Cells

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artificial intelligence seems taking control of our lives latelybut a team of scientists say something called “organoid intelligence,” or OI, powered by living human brain cells could one day outperform any artificial system, and do it much more efficiently too.

Organoids are three-dimensional clumps of biological tissue that scientists have been growing and experimenting with for years. Researchers led by Johns Hopkins University environmental health sciences professor Thomas Hartung are working with brain organoids that could lead to the development of a “biocomputer” powered by human brain cells.

“We’re at a time when the technologies for doing real bioinformatics have matured,” Hartung told me over email. “The hope is that some of the remarkable features of the human brain can be realized as IOs, such as its ability to make quick decisions based on incomplete and contradictory information (intuitive thinking).”

Hartung and his colleagues unveil an in-depth view of the future of OI on Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Science.

The team includes scientists from Cortical Labs, which made headlines last year for creating a dish filled with living brain cells that learned to play the original Pong video game.

The use of cell-derived organoids is beneficial to scientists because it does not require human or animal testing. Hartung has been creating functional brain organoids since 2012 using human skin cells that are reprogrammed into an embryonic stem cell-like state. They can then be used to form brain cells and, eventually, organoids with functioning neurons and other features that can support basic functions like memory and lifelong learning.

“This paves the way for research into how the human brain works,” Hartung said in a statement. “Because you can start manipulating the system, doing things that you can’t do ethically with human brains.”

A living computer

He and his colleagues envision assembling brain organoids into new forms of biological computing hardware that are much more energy efficient than current supercomputers.

“The brain is still unmatched by modern computers,” Hartung said. “Frontier, Kentucky’s newest supercomputer, is a $600 million, 6,800 square foot facility. It wasn’t until June of last year that it first exceeded computing capacity. from a single human brain – but using a million times more energy.”

Hartung admits that computers are faster at processing numbers and data, but maintains that brains are still better when it comes to complex logical problems.

“Computers and the brain are not the same, although we have tried to make computers more like the brain since the beginning of the computer age. The promise of OI is to add new qualities.”

Concepts such as biological computers and organoid intelligence could lead to new ethical discussions for a library. The conversations about organoids becoming sentient, sentient, or self-aware and the resulting implications have been going on for years now, even though the technology is considered immature at this time.

“There’s probably no technology without unintended consequences,” Hartung told me. “While it is difficult to rule out such risks, as long as humans control the input and output as well as the feedback to the brain about the consequences of its output, humans are in control. However, as AI , the problem arises as soon as we give AI/OI Autonomy. Machines, whether based on siliceous or cellular machines, must not decide on human life.”

Members of the research team with a background in bioethics worked to assess the ethical implications of working with the IO.

Organoid intelligence and biocomputers won’t pose a threat to AI or old-fashioned cultured human brains anytime soon. But Hartung thinks it’s time to start increasing the production of brain organoids and training them with AI to fill some of the gaps in our existing silicon systems.

“It will take decades to reach the goal of something comparable to any type of computer,” Hartung said. “But if we don’t start creating funding programs for that, it’s going to be a lot harder.”


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