THE MAN who put the brain of a moth into a robot claims that in the next 10 to 15 years all our computers will have something living inside them.
Charles Higgins, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, built a robot with the brain and eyes of a moth. It works quite well but has a nasty habit of banging into the light bulb.
What Higgins wanted to do was build a computer chip that handles visual images in the same way as the brain. Currently the closest thing to a chip that behaves like that will set you back $60,000.
He said he could make it cheaper if he used the brain of an insect. After all there were a lot of them around and no religious fundamentalists or animal rights groups made your life a misery over a moth's brain.
He said evolution* produces some jolly good live brains that have sensory systems far better than anything mechanical that humans can build.
Higgins ideally he would like to grow a brain which does what he wants it to using biological engineering then hook it into a computer.
He said that it would involve growing tissue that has no more intelligence than a liver or a heart so he thinks that there are no ethical issues. Some strains of religion think they can get Jesus into their heart, which might cause some problems for a working operating system.
According to Computerworld, Higgins thinks that hybrid robots will be in the shops in 10 to 15 years, if the zombies don't eat the brains first.
More here. µ
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