Via Scoble, I came across this story about European researchers who have developed “neuro-chips”, silicon circuits that have been fused with living brain cells. Seems that things are happening even faster than Ray Kurzweil predicted!
To create the neuro-chip, researchers squeezed more than 16,000 electronic transistors and hundreds of capacitors onto a silicon chip just 1 millimeter square in size. They used special proteins found in the brain to glue brain cells, called neurons, onto the chip. However, the proteins acted as more than just a simple adhesive.
“They also provided the link between ionic channels of the neurons and semiconductor material in a way that neural electrical signals could be passed to the silicon chip,” said study team member Stefano Vassanelli from the University of Padua in Italy.
Scary or exciting? I say exciting. If they perfect this sort of thing, drug testing times could be greatly reduced, and neurological disorders could be corrected. Not to mention the fact that we might have the ability to put computing power in our heads! No more thinking when you need to perform a calculation.