It's not artificial intelligence in the Turing test sense, but the technicolor ring you see above is actually an artificial microbrain, derived from rat brain cells--just 40 to 60 neurons in total--that is capable of about 12 seconds of short-term memory.
Developed by a team at the University of Pittsburgh, the brain was created in an attempt to artificially nurture a working brain into existence so that researchers could study neural networks and how our brains transmit electrical signals and store data so efficiently. The did so by attaching a layer of proteins to a silicon disk and adding brain cells from embryonic rats that attached themselves to the proteins and grew to connect with one another in the ring seen above.
But as if the growing of a tiny, functioning, donut-shaped brain in a petri dish wasn't enough, the team found that when they stimulate the neurons with electricity, the pulse would circulate the microbrain for a full 12 seconds. That's roughly 12 seconds longer than they thought it would (they expected the pulse to live for about a quarter of a second).
That's essentially short-term memory. The neurons were relaying the signal in sequence, persistently, mimicking the activity we know as working memory (though admittedly we don't understand it that well). The brain is basically storing the stimulus long after the stimulus is no more, which is a big deal for a tiny brain grown in a dish.
Well! That's about twice as long as my short-term memory XD
AKA Sarah Palin
That's long enough not to notice the elephant in the room.
"They did so by attaching a layer of proteins to a silicon disk and adding brain cells from embryonic rats"
so did they really create it if they had to use stuff from a dead rat that already had it?
It's alive! This is an interesting approach to natural/artificial intelligence. For sure they will continue the stimulation and grow of this petribrain and for sure some will be useful for some applications. A quick app that comes to mind is a trained portable nose to sniff out substances.
another example of research into combining hardware and biology?
@Zach_M...yes, they created the environment and grew them where they were never intended to be and then got them working, excellent work
cool makes me think about humans grown in factories used as batteries for machines in the Matrix. maybe in 100 years.
That is all we need at this point. Smart rats and stupid people that can dance. I am battling it out with the ants in my kitchen now. Just give the world away while I go looking for a sturdy club to defend myself.
12 seconds longer than... um, what was I talking about again?