Playing The Video Game Pong, Lab-Grown Brain Cells

Anyone who grew up in the 1970s would probably remember Pong, a primitive video game prototype. A rudimentary “paddle” on one side of the screen would move a digital ball slowly across the screen when it was played in this 1972 release of a simplified version of ping pong.

The BBC stated that scientists have developed brain cells in a lab that can play Pong and act in response to their surroundings.

It is the first “sentient” lab-grown brain in a dish, according to Brett Kagan of Cortical Labs, who wrote about it in the journal Neuron. Others claim that phrase is overused.

“We were at a loss for words to describe the gadget,” Kagan added. It has the capacity to receive information from an outside source, process it, and then react to it instantly.”

Researchers developed some of the human brain cells from mouse embryos and some from stem cells. They next electronically connected the video game to the “mini-brain.”

The mini-brain took five minutes to learn how to play. Although it frequently missed the “ball,” it was more successful than it would have been under random circumstances.

The BBC noted that chess grandmasters can be defeated by artificial intelligence technologies.

Karl Friston of University College London argues that this is different because “the mini-brain acquired without it being taught and is more malleable and versatile.”

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