Artificial Intelligence is the next big revolution happening in the tech world, but the advancement is not going to stop there and scientists have given a glimpse of the future already. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have introduced organoid intelligence that could make faster, more efficient, and more powerful computers than today’s Artificial intelligence.
Scientists are hopeful that biocomputers powered by human brain cells could become a reality sooner than we expected and it could exponentially expand the capabilities of modern computing, while also introducing a brand-new field of intelligence.
In a study published in the journal Frontiers of Science, researchers said that the recent advances in human stem cell-derived brain organoids promise to replicate critical molecular and cellular aspects of learning and memory and possibly aspects of cognition. Coining the term “organoid intelligence” (OI) to encompass these developments, we present a collaborative program to implement the vision of a multidisciplinary field of OI,” the paper read.
WHAT IS ORGANOID INTELLIGENCE?
OI, according to the researchers, is an emerging multidisciplinary field working to develop biological computing using 3D cultures of human brain cells (brain organoids) and brain-machine interface technologies. It will be possible by scaling up current brain organoids into complex, durable 3D structures enriched with cells and genes associated with learning, and connecting these to next-generation input and output devices and AI/machine learning systems.
WHERE ARE WE CURRENTLY?
Scientists have been working with tiny organoids, lab-grown tissue resembling fully grown organs, for decades as they experiment on kidneys, lungs, and other organs without resorting to human or animal testing. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have been working with brain organoids, orbs the size of a pen dot with neurons and other features that promise to sustain basic functions.
“Biocomputing is an enormous effort of compacting computational power and increasing its efficiency to push past our current technological limits. “This opens up research on how the human brain works. Because you can start manipulating the system, doing things you cannot ethically do with human brains,” Thomas Hartung who is spearheading the work, said in a statement.
The team grew and assembled brain cells into functional organoids in 2012 using cells from human skin samples reprogrammed into an embryonic stem cell-like state. Each of these organoids contains about 50,000 cells, about the size of a fruit fly’s nervous system.
“The brain is still unmatched by modern computers. Frontier, the latest supercomputer in Kentucky, is a $600 million, 6,800-square-foot installation. Only in June of last year, it exceeded for the first time the computational capacity of a single human brain—but using a million times more energy,” Hartung added.
While the OI is still decades away, the team of researchers is hopeful that by scaling up the production of brain organoids and training them with artificial intelligence, they could happen sooner than expected. The system could revolutionise different fields.