The Gamesters of Triskelion

This is jaw-droppingly cool — [a simple ‘brain in a jar’ that can learn how to play a flight simulator][1].

[1]: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/robot-04zm.html “‘Brain’ In A Dish Could Fly A Plane”

> A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.
>
> The “brain” – a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat’s brain and cultured inside a glass dish – gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level.
>
> […]
>
> “Initially when we hook up this brain to a flight simulator, it doesn’t know how to control the aircraft,” DeMarse said. “So you hook it up and the aircraft simply drifts randomly. And as the data comes in, it slowly modifies the (neural) network so over time, the network gradually learns to fly the aircraft.”

Sure, today they’re flying a flight simulator. Tomorrow, they’ll be betting [Quatloos][2] on how well we fight. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quatloo “Quatloo”

(via [Ben Hammersley][3])

[3]: http://www.benhammersley.com/weblog/2004/10/22/a_brain_the_consistency_of_a_bogey.html “Ben Hammersley’s Dangerous Precedent: A brain the consistency of a bogey”

Published by Michael Hanscom

Enthusiastic ambivert. Geeky, liberal, friendly, curious, feminist ally; trying to be a good person. (he/him)