Organoid Intelligence (Borg v.1.2)

July 28, 2023
July 28, 2023 Hal Jordan

Organoid Intelligence (Borg v.1.2)

The human brain is a complex and fascinating organ that has been studied for decades. Despite the progress made, there is still much to learn about how it works and why it behaves the way it does. However, we know that the brain is powerful and energy-efficient. It may not be as quick as a computer in solving complex equations, but it is significantly better at both learning and memory.

Researchers have been exploring ways to combine the power of a human mind with that of a computer, and one group of researchers calls this idea “organoid intelligence” or OI. They hope to use samples of human tissue to grow small collections of brain cells called “organoids” that they could use in place of standard silicon computer chips. These clusters of cells are larger and more 3D than traditional cultures, which allows the neurons within them to create significantly more connections.

While some researchers are working on growing organoids to the 10-million-cell size scientists estimate they will need to be to run a computer and access memory capabilities anywhere close to a human brain, others are developing tech that would allow us to communicate with a clump of cells and have that clump communicate back. Last year, researchers created what they describe as a “kind of an EEG cap for organoids,” which is a “flexible shell that is densely covered with tiny electrodes that can both pick up signals from the organoid, and transmit signals to it.” This technology requires many scientific disciplines to get off the ground, but some progress has been made.

The researchers who are working on OI have more than just computing power in mind. They also want to use these OI computers to study neurological conditions and help patients. “For example, we could compare memory formation in organoids derived from healthy people and from Alzheimer’s patients, and try to repair relative deficits,” said Thomas Hartung, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University and one of the authors of this article, in a news release. “We could also use OI to test whether certain substances, such as pesticides, cause memory or learning problems.”

This is an exciting idea, but it is also complicated, and not just from a technological perspective. Research like this raises many ethical questions. Is it okay to use people’s cells to make computers? Could a computer made of human cells develop a consciousness? And if it does, is it okay to keep that consciousness locked into the role of a computer? We are not anywhere close to having OI in our laptops or phones, so we don’t need to have all of those answers just yet. But they need to be a part of the conversation around OI, no matter what stage the technology is currently in.

Right now, an entire field of study is just getting started. And though there is more than computing potential to consider, the start seems exciting. For example, a recent study showed that a flat brain cell culture can learn how to play Pong – even without the added power of being a full 3D organoid.

It may seem like science fiction, but it’s in the works in real life. “From here on,” Hartung said in the news release, “it’s just a matter of building the community, the tools, and the technologies to realize OI’s full potential.”


Move over, artificial intelligence. Scientists announce a new ‘organoid intelligence’ field – CBS News
‘Organoid intelligence’ could create brain cell-led computers – CNN
Organoid Intelligence: How Human Brain Cells Will Power Computers – Popular Mechanics
Organoid intelligence (OI): the new frontier in biocomputing and intelligence-in-a-dish – Frontiers in Science
Scientists Are Creating Something Wild: Organoid Intelligence – Popular Mechanics
What is meant by ‘Organoid Intelligence’? – IAS Study Center


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29 July
1907Melvin Belli is born.
1941David Warner is born.
1958 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established.
1972Wil Wheaton is born.

30 July
1938Michael Bell is born.
1948Carel Struycken is born.
1975James Blish dies.
1985Mary Wiseman is born.
2019Cosmo Genovese dies.
2022Nichelle Nichols dies.

31 July
1932Ted Cassidy is born.
1939France Nuyen is born.
1977 – The story treatment “In Thy Image”, which evolved into Star Trek: The Motion Picture is submitted.
1979Gregory Jein, Inc. is founded by its namesake to cover legal liabilities for the staff he brings along to work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The company will later be contracted to serve as the primary studio model vendor for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
2013 – The fully restored original full scale Galileo mock-up is unveiled in a highly publicized ceremony at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it has found a permanent home after a decades long odyssey of neglect and failed preservation attempts.
Michael Ansara dies.

1 August
1964Melanie Shatner is born.
1992Bob Peak dies.

2 August
1917Wah Chang is born.
1920Theo Marcuse is born.
1943Richard Fancy is born.
1944Susan Denberg is born.
1945Joanna Cassidy is born.
1998Shari Lewis dies.
2005Loulie Jean Norman dies.

3 August
1921Harvey P. Lynn is born.
1961Molly Hagan is born.
1972Brigid Brannagh is born.

4 August
1968Daniel Dae Kim is born.


The United Federation Starfleet Blog is written by Fleet Captain Hal Jordan and is published every Friday. Join in the discussion! Engage with us on Discord at:


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