A groundbreaking innovation by Cortical Labs features human neurons grown on a silicon chip, creating a hybrid AI that’s already capable of playing computer games. Late in 2022, Cortical Labs made headlines with an article in the scientific journal Neuron, where it revealed that the startup had successfully taught neurons in a petri dish to play the classic game Pong. This breakthrough marked the emergence of a new organic-digital intelligence known as the Biological Intelligence Operating System (biOS), or the DishBrain. As it stands, DishBrain can play Pong – but in the future, it could revolutionize computing.

To develop the biOS, researchers first nurture neurons in a nutrient-rich solution. These neurons are then grown on a silicon chip equipped with pins that transmit electrical impulses to the neural structure and receive impulses back – functioning similarly to a brain. In essence, biOS is a hybrid of silicon and organic tissue, establishing a connection between an organic neural network and the digital realm.

Cortical Labs founder Hon Weng Chong emphasizes the numerous benefits of organic-digital intelligence, including lower power consumption, increased intuition, and enhanced creativity. The company believes that purely digital machine learning algorithms fall short of replicating an organic neural network’s capabilities. As a result, they’re starting from the ground up – constructing a superior network.

As stated on the company’s website, “We know an organic mind is a better learner than any digital model. It can switch tasks easily and bring learnings from one task to another. But more important is what we don’t know. What are the limits of a mind connected to infinity? What can it do with data it literally lives in?” These are the questions that Cortical Labs seeks to answer.

Chong proposes that organoid intelligence systems have the potential to learn more quickly and consume significantly less energy than any other existing artificial intelligence (AI) system. This is crucial, given the widespread adoption of AI. Springwise has identified other innovative applications of AI, such as a platform that employs AI to produce chemicals sustainably and the use of AI to reduce the carbon footprint of energy-intensive industries.

By Impact Lab