Scientists Discuss the Future of Biological Computing

From StarTalk.

Can you make a computer chip out of neurons? Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly explore organoid intelligence, teaching neurons to play Pong, and how biology can enhance technology with neuroscientist and Chief Scientific Officer at Cortical Labs, Brett Kagan.

Can you make computers out of biological building blocks? Learn about how neurons self-organize, embodied networks, and how to help computers understand the real world. We explore whether AGI can be achieved with “wetware” or with silicon-based hardware. We talk about what animals do well computationally and how long it takes for a neural network to learn how to play Pong. How do information systems work on a fundamental level?

Learn about The Free Energy Principle and how scientists utilize entropy to train neural networks. How do you gauge intelligence in a system? What are the ethics of creating a biological form of intelligence? We discuss whether a biological AGI could develop consciousness and the difference between consciousness and intelligence. Should we be recreating the human brain?

Could a complex neural system lead to consciousness? We discuss the future of computing: could it be the combination of silicon and biological processing? How will biological computers solve problems differently? Find out about applications for this research and whether all neurons are the same. Plus, could these networks further help us understand the human mind?

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About StarTalk:
Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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00:00 – Introduction: Biosynthetic Processors
3:13 – Brain Cells in a Dish
9:17 – What is an Embodied Network?
10:24 – Are Neurons Better for Computers?
17:45 – Could SBI Go Horribly Wrong?
19:15 – Teaching Neural Circuits the Game of Pong
21:45 – SBI & AGI
25:00 – Ethics: Could We Create Consciousness?
33:42 – The Future of Computing
36:54 – Applications & Understanding the Human Brain
44:04 – Are All Neurons the Same?
46:30 – Closing