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Scientists Have Grown A Human “Mini Brain” in The Laboratory And Taught Him How To Play Pong 

Australian scientists grow brain cells in a lab and teach them how to play Pong in five minutes.

The researchers used mouse embryonic material and human induced pluripotent stem cells. They integrated biological neural networks (BNNs) into a silicon chip designed to read and write information through electrophysiological stimulation. The engineers then placed the DishBrain in a simulated environment called Pong.

The team has developed software that can read the electrical signals from the cages during firing and apply them to the game, namely to control the racket holding the ball in the air. The program also provides feedback and sends BNN information about changes in the simulated environment.

As a result, the neurons in DishBrain were able to adjust their activity and improve performance by demonstrating learning in five minutes of playing in the real world. By comparison, systems with a stimulus but no feedback showed no development.

The developers said this purposeful change in behavior over time demonstrates the ability of cells, even in a petri dish, to exhibit a kind of rudimentary intelligence under the right conditions.

“We chose this arcade game because of its simplicity and popularity, and also because it is the first game used in machine learning,” said Brett Kagan, chief scientist at Cortical Labs.

The technology could eventually be used to test treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia and epilepsy, according to Cortical Labs.

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