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Human Induced Cells Grown in Petri Dish Learn to Play Pong Faster Than AI

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Pong video game

Cultures were embedded in a simulated game-world that mimicked the 'Pong' arcade game.

Credit: MZTV

Researchers at Cortical Labs in Australia demonstrated that human-induced neurons grown in a petri dish can be taught to play the retro videogame Pong in only five minutes.

The DishBrain system is made of brain cells grown on microelectrode arrays that can stimulate the cells. The researchers sent electrical signals either to the right or left of the array to indicate the video game ball's location, and the brain cells would fire neurons to move the paddle accordingly.

DishBrain learned the game in 10 to 15 rallies, gaming sessions that last for 15 minutes, but it takes 5,000 rallies for an artificial intelligence to learn the game.

"Using this DishBrain system, we have demonstrated that a single layer of in vitro cortical neurons can self-organize and display intelligent and sentient behavior when embodied in a simulated game-world," the researchers said in their published report.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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