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Organoid Intelligence: A New Science on the Horizon

— March 29, 2023

OI is a new science, more advanced than AI.

Lately, artificial intelligence – or AI – has been all the buzz. There’s a ton of talk about what AI might be able to do for business (and society as a whole), both now and into the future. The idea of computers doing thinking on their own, without the need for humans to provide directed inputs, has long been the stuff of science-fiction movies, but it’s inching closer and closer to reality. However, AI might not be the only game-changing technology on the horizon. Recently scientists and researchers have been developing plans around something call OI, or organoid intelligence. The idea behind OI is extremely innovative and complex, and it can be difficult to communicate in layman’s terms.

The concept behind organoid intelligence is to replicate some of the power that exists inside the incredible human brain. Rather than building traditional computer chips out of silicon, like the kinds that are used in billions of devices around the globe, these researchers are attempting to build computing ability using human cells. Utilizing tissue from real people, the goal is to develop clusters that are then able to perform tasks that could exceed what a “normal” computer can do.

Obviously, none of this is easy to accomplish. So far, only minor steps have been taken in this direction, but the fact that any steps have been taken at all is still an incredible feat. Already there have been communications taking place between miniature electrodes and the organoids that have been developed. That doesn’t mean we are close to some kind of dramatic, life-altering breakthrough just yet, but the possibilities are many.

Organoid Intelligence: A New Science on the Horizon
Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels

Without question, it’s hard to know where this technology is going to end up in the future. One potential application could be in testing to figure out what kinds of things are harmful to the human brain. If an organoid winds up being a reasonable replica of the human brain, only outside of the body and not attached to a specific human, testing would be possible that is not currently available – and wouldn’t be ethical, anyway. This may be an area where degenerative diseases can be better tested and evaluated to see how cells respond to given treatments and what approaches should be taken to lead to better patient outcomes. Of course, this is just one example of virtually countless potential directions that OI could go.

In addition to its potential for driving positive change, only time will tell if organoid intelligence, as a brand new science, winds up being a disruptive technology. To be sure, there are many critics of AI and other sciences that have seemed to have taken on a life of their own and have caused some havoc along the way. Controversial science has always garnered a ton of addition, both good and bad.

Either way, it seems it will change the way humans live if it ends up getting out of the lab and into the “real world.” It’s fascinating to follow these kinds of developments in their early stages to see what creative solutions can be developed to the problems that are sure to be encountered.


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