SkyNet Smiles

This is getting creepy:

Scientists Are Frighteningly Close to Achieving Synthetic Biological Intelligence

  • A group of researchers have already grown brain cells on silicon chips and then taught them to perform tasks.

  • This merging of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology opens a new realm of continual machine learning.

  • A $600,000 AUD Australian national intelligence grant continues to the research into the “cyborg computing chips.”

Lab-grown synthetic brain cells can already learn tasks. Now, the same team that brought us 800,000 Pong-playing brain cells living in a dish has received $600,000 AUD from Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants Program to further push these lab-grown brain cells embedded onto silicon chips into the world of machine learning.

This entire project “merges the fields of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology to create programmable biological computing platforms,” Adeel Razi, associate professor at Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, says in a news release. “This new technology capability in future may eventually surpass the performance of existing, purely silicon-based hardware.”

I feel like there is some sort of moral boundary being breached. But it is hard to articulate exactly what is wrong.


6 thoughts on “SkyNet Smiles


    I can see the activists now:
    Chips are people too!
    End cyborg slavery!

    And oddly, I find it hard to mock those statements…..
    Now, if they were cloning human arms to graft to a machine for assembly line stuff, I’d have much less of a hard time. But building human sentient tissue into a computer does seem to me to have some creepy ethical issues. Borg, anyone?

  2. Klaus and Bill replacing us with machines. Oh great!
    The mind of man is wicked. And the mind of man without a godly restraint will do his upmost wicked imagination.
    Marguis de Sade anyone? With computers and the ability to create and command life?
    One need not be a head-case trekky to know this one ain’t going to land well.
    I still think the big problem is power sourcing to keep things running for long periods. But that’s just speculation on my part.

  3. “Scientists Are Frighteningly Close to Achieving Synthetic Biological Intelligence”

    Maybe trying to create implants for politicians? As much as I hate to take the position, I prefer my politicians remain egregiously stupid. Politicians create problems – that’s the default setting – but low intellectual capacity does provide some limit on those problems; add a hundred or two IQ points and there’s no telling what havoc they could wreak.

    • Absolutely, The last thing anyone should want is efficient government.
      Now, if we could just have elections every 50 years. Then hang all the winners. That might help clean the gene pool a bit?

  4. “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind”. One of the many important lessons a reader could learn from the classic SCI-Fi novel Dune. But that would require reading a book…

  5. We are a clever species. NOT an intelligent one. An intelligent species would NOT be willfully creating its own successor. The means of its own destruction. What’s totally ironic is the people who KNOW…the ones shouting loudest about the dangers posed by AI are willingly taking BILLIONS of dollars to create and develop the AI they are warning us about.

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