In Australia, researchers are combining lab-grown human brain cells with silicon chips to develop a computing system that can outperform conventional hardware.
The renowned “DishBrain” system was granted approximately US$400,000 in funding from an Australian national defense fund. According to Associate Professor Adeel Razi at Monash University in Melbourne, if the brain-computer chip system is successful, it has the potential to give the country an advantage in various AI fields.
“This new technology capability in future may eventually surpass the performance of existing, purely silicon-based hardware,” Razi said in the funding announcement.
This research is a result of a collaboration between Cortical Labs, a promising startup, and Monash University. Cortical Labs claims that they have successfully grown approximately 800,000 brain cells on a silicon chip by utilizing both rat and human stem cells. This unique technological advancement involves an intricately designed chip equipped with pins that not only transmit electrical impulses into the neural structure but also receive impulses in response.
By simulating brain cells and monitoring their activity, the computer chip transforms BrainDish into an extraordinary biological CPU. In October, the team demonstrated (opens in a new window) the incredible potential of the technology by successfully programming it to perform basic tasks such as playing the classic game of Pong.