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Scientist proves human brain can still beat AI using video game Pong

Scientists have found that a colony of human brain cells stored in a petri dish can perform better at a game of Pong than an AI.

Published Mon, Dec 20 2021 9:38 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Jan 14 2022 12:00 AM CST

The human brain continues to keep the benchmark crown. Scientists have found that a colony of, 800,000 to one million, human brain cells stored in a petri dish can perform better at a simple video game than an AI counterpart can. These human brain cells that were cultured in a petri dish and assisted by microelectrodes have been able to to be "taught" how to play the video game, "Pong".

Scientist proves human brain can still beat AI using video game Pong 1 |

New Scientist has reported that researchers at Australian based Cortical Labs have been growing these "small puddles" of brain in petri dishes, and that they have now taught one such petri dish colony to play "Pong". It has been stated that typically it takes an AI around 90 minutes, but the "DishBrain" was able to be taught in an impressive five minutes. In the experiment, the colony sits on top of arrays of microelectrodes which provide stimulation by sending electrical signals to either the right or left array to indicate the location of the virtual ball.

The "DishBrain" responds by releasing impulses to move the paddle which allow the electrodes to analyze the activity and enable the simulation to respond. On the downside, the researchers have noted that a well written AI could still demolish the "DishBrain" colony, once properly trained. The researchers whom are cited by New Scientist, have referred that the colony is "living in the Matrix." This viewpoint is possible since that while the "DishBrain" plays the simplified, single-player version of 'Pong', the colony is actually tricked into believing they are the paddle that hits the ball in the game.

Cortical Labs as a company that is currently working on the integration of biological components with traditional silicon based computing hardware. They hope that their research will create significant advancements in the integration of "live biological neurons" with "traditional silicon computing" allowing for growth in the field of cybernetics. Currently, they grow brain cells on microelectronic arrays, so that the cells can be stimulated with electrical impulses.

This gives their "hybrid" chips the ability to learn as well as restructure themselves to get past problems simple problems. The scientists who created the project state that although they have only currently demonstrated a "single layer of in vitro cortical neurons can self-organize and display intelligent and sentient behavior", that in the future the technology could have many more practical implications.

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Rob writes about networking technology, smart home technology as well as mid-market and enterprise hardware solutions. For 21 years his company has consulted in the government, mid-market, small business sectors. The firm he founded is based on creating solutions for their clients with the understanding of what they were not getting from other industry consultants. He continues to develop long-term technology strategies and providing analytical services for his clients.

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