PITTSBURGH – Artificial brains are now a reality – and they are for sale!
The technicolor ring you see below is an artificial microbrain, derived from rat brain cells– 40,000 to 60,000 neurons in total– that is capable of short-term memory, solving math problems and paying cellphone bills.
These microbrains will be marketed by MicroSoft and sold in stores for individual use. Customers will attach the microbrains to their heads with a strap (a connector that goes in the ear) and it will “supercharge” their regular brains.
“This brain will make everyone a genius,” said developer Dr. John Hillstrom.
Developed by a team at the University of Pittsburgh, the brain was created in an attempt to artificially nurture a working brain into existence so that researchers could study neural networks and how our brains transmit electrical signals and store data so efficiently.
They did so by attaching a layer of proteins to a silicon disk and adding brain cells from embryonic rats that attached themselves to the proteins and grew to connect with one another in the ring seen below.
But as if the growing of a tiny, functioning, donut-shaped brain in a petri dish wasn’t enough, the team found that when they stimulate the neurons with electricity, the pulse would circulate the microbrain for a full 12 hours.
That’s roughly 1,000 times longer than they thought it would circulate.
The artificial brains mimick the activity we know as working memory and calculations and creative thinking.
The microbrain is equivalent to that of a typical college graduate at Princeton or Harvard.
Best Buy will be the first store to offer the microbrains that will be available in stores this November.