Professor Predicts Organic/Computer Hybrids

Loraine Lawson

Computer scientists are always trying to figure out how to make the computer as complex and adaptable as the human brain. But University of Arizona Associate Professor Charles Higgins already has a solution to that problem.


Just add brains to the computer.


Calm down. He doesn't mean human brains.


But he does think we could see computer hybrids mixed with organic material available within the next 10-15 years, he recently told Computerworld New Zealand.


He's already created a proof-of-concept 12-inch-tall robot guided by tiny electrodes implanted into a moth's brain. A moth's brain, if you're curious, is the size of a grain of rice. And it managed to move a robot.


Higgins had been researching how to build a computer that could process visual images as well as human brains. He decided to try the moth-brain experiment after learning it would cost $60,000 to build a computer chip that could function nearly as well as a human brain.


He promises he has no plans to recreate the experiment with a primate brain, telling Computerworld, "There's the possibility when you start to tap into brains, for all sorts of evil applications."


No kidding. Glad to see he knows that -- but what about the as-yet-undiscovered Mr. Budding Frankenstein Junior out there? Call me old fashioned, but I don't like where this is going. Particularly since my husband has sworn he'll be the first in line for cyber implants.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.