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Australian Intelligence Agency Funding Research That Will Merge AI With Human Brain Cells

An Australian intelligence agency recently awarded a $600,000 grant to research that seeks to merge human brain cells with artificial intelligence.

The grant was provided by the Australia National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants Program to Monash University and Cortical Labs.

The research is being led by Adeel Razi, an associate professor from the Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.

The team behind this project created what they call “DishBrain” – a computer chip made up of 800,000 human and mouse brain cells which were lab-grown into its electrodes.

This technology was trained to play the classic video game ‘Pong’. It works by reading activity in the brain cells as well as stimulating them with electrical signals.

Experts believe this Biological Intelligence Operating System is the future of AI because it is self-programming, requires less memory, conserves energy, and can learn throughout its lifetime like human brain cells.

Outcomes of such research would have significant implications across multiple fields such as robotics, advanced automation, brain-machine interfaces and drug discovery giving Australia a strategic advantage according to Razi.

He also added that this grant will help develop better AI machines that replicate the learning capacity of biological neural networks at a viable level for replacement of in silico computing methods.

Some experts contend that the brain-powered Biological Intelligence Operating System is the future of AI because it is self-programming, requires less memory, conserves energy, and can learn throughout its lifetime like human brain cells.

“The outcomes of such research would have significant implications across multiple fields such as, but not limited to, planning, robotics, advanced automation, brain-machine interfaces, and drug discovery, giving Australia a significant strategic advantage,” Razi said in a statement.

“We will be using this grant to develop better AI machines that replicate the learning capacity of these biological neural networks,” he continued. “This will help us scale up the hardware and methods capacity to the point where they become a viable replacement for in silico computing.”

TechCrunch reported in April that Cortical Labs received $10 million in funding – including from the investment arm of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The tech outlet reported, “It’s now raised a $10 million funding round led by Horizons Ventures, with participation from LifeX (Life Extension) Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, Radar Ventures and In-Q-Tel (the venture arm of the CIA).”

This investment supports their development of Organoid Intelligence (OI) which combines synthetic biology and human neurons to create what they claim is a new class of AI technology.

 

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