Millions of human brain cells would power a biological computer that scientists think could outperform silicon-based devices while using far less energy.
The worldwide team, lead by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, released a thorough road map to what they refer to as “organoid intelligence” in the journal Frontiers in Science on Tuesday. The hardware will consist of clusters of brain organoids, which are tiny, three-dimensional neural structures made from human stem cells. These organoids will be connected to sensors and output devices and educated using big data, machine learning, and other methods.
The goal is to create a system that is so efficient that it will help advance medical research in areas such as neuroscience and other fields where traditional digital computers are unable to address certain challenges. The goal of the project is similar to research on more sophisticated quantum computing, but also raises moral concerns about the “awareness” of brain organoid assemblies.