Organic computers

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Rand McNally
Organic computers


Rand McNally



he 25,000 neurons were immersed in a specialised liquid suspension to keep them alive and then laid across a grid of 60 electrodes in a small glass dish, measuring only about an inch across.

Under the microscope they looked at first like thousands of grains of sand, but soon the cells begin to connect to form what scientists are calling a "live computation device" (in effect, a brain). The electrodes measure and stimulate neural activity in the network, allowing researchers to study how the brain processes, transforms and stores information.

In the most striking experiment, the brain was linked up to the jet simulator. Manipulated via the electrodes and a desktop computer, it was taught to control the flight path, even in mock hurricane-strength winds.

I am trying to decide if this is cool or scary.


This is incredible and gives new meaning to the "brain in a vat" exercise in philosophy!