Human Brain Cells Learn This Game For Only 5 Minutes, Artificial Intelligence Takes 1.5 Hours to Pick Up

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Dec 20, 2021, 10:55:29 AM12/20/21
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Human Brain Cells Learn This Game For Only 5 Minutes, Artificial Intelligence Takes 1.5 Hours to Pick Up

Marie Morales 

Australian scientists at Cortical Labs taught hundreds of thousands of brain cells to play pong in just five minutes, which is quicker than artificial intelligence (AI), which picks up the game 90 minutes later.

As specified in a Mail Online report, the cells were grown in a petri dish "have found a new meaning in life." Specifically, they are spending the day playing the Pong videogame.

Called "DishBrains," the system comprises brain cells grown on top of microelectrode arrays that can both stimulate the cells.


For the mini-brains to learn the Pong game, the researchers used the game's single-player version and delivered electrical signals to either the left or right of the array to specify where the ball is.

The brain then would fire off neurons to move the paddle back and forth depending on the ball's location.

The DishBrains

In a New Scientist report, Cortical Labs' chief scientific officer, Brett Kagan, who's leading the research said, they think it is fair to call the cells "cyborg brains."

Commenting on their work, the lead researcher said they are frequently referred to as "living in the Matrix." When in the game, the brain cells believe they are the paddle.

Kagan also noted that even though mini-brains can learn more rapidly than AI, they are not skilled when playing video games. The organoids would lose against a computer like DeepMind.  

Nonetheless, it takes artificial intelligence 5,000 rallies to get the hang of the game that only took DishBrainsabout 10 to 15 rallies. Essentially, a rally is one gaming session that lasts 15 minutes to pick up the game.

Through the use of this system, the researchers have demonstrated that a layer of in-vitro cortical neurons can self-organize "and display intelligent and sentient behavior" when exemplified in a replicated game-world," according to research published in bioRxiv.

Stem Cells Used to Develop 'Optic Cups'

The researchers said they have presented that even without considerable filtering of cellular activity, statistically, robust differences over time and against controls could be seen in the neuronal cultures' behavior in adjusting to goal-directed tasks.


In August, German scientists revealed their lab-grown brains with the capability of developing their own fundamental constructions that can sense light and communicate with other parts of the brain.

Scientists at Heinrich-Heine-University's Institute for Human Genetics in Düsseldorf, Germany used stem cells the develop organoid pairs of "optic cups," an early eye formation stage that develops when a fetus is about five weeks old.

Pongflash.com describes Pong as a "so classic" game. It was one of the first-ever games dating way, way back.

William Higinbotham developed the first-ever video game in the late 1950s, and it was akin to what was later called "Pong."

Considered a game remake, it is played a lot like tennis. A player hits the pixelated ball back and forth and attempts to get it past his opponent.

Related information about AI and human brain cells is shown on AI News's YouTube video below:

 https://youtu.be/8vMV1mdfURs


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