Home / News / Artificial Intelligence / The creation of a computer that draws inspiration from the human brain has advanced significantly

The creation of a computer that draws inspiration from the human brain has advanced significantly

Brains and computers share certain functions, such as calculation and organization, but they are fundamentally distinct. Their disparities are primarily related to their structure. Computers are not constructed in a manner similar to brains; however, is it possible for them to be? This concept has been in existence for a considerable period of time, and researchers have recently made a significant advancement. A synapse-like device was constructed.

The central nervous system primarily consists of neurons, which are specialized cells responsible for transmitting nerve impulses. Neurons communicate with each other by transmitting and processing information through synapses, which are junctions connecting the neurons. They are essential for the operation of the brain.

Synapses accomplish this by utilizing ions, which are electrically charged atoms or molecules dissolved in water. Recent research demonstrates the feasibility of developing a synthetic synapse that is compatible with both water and salts. An essential component in this context is an iontronic memristor, which has a width equivalent to two sheets of paper.

Although the name may be intricate, the form and actions of the object are simple and easy to understand. The object has a conical shape and contains a solution composed of water and salts. Upon receiving an electrical impulse, the ions present in the water undergo movement, thereby altering the concentration of salt. This is comparable to the functioning of an actual brain synapse.

“Although artificial synapses that can process complex information already exist using solid materials, we have demonstrated for the first time that this can also be achieved using water and salt,” stated Tim Kamsma, a graduate researcher at Utrecht University and the lead author of the study. “We are successfully imitating the functioning of neurons by utilizing a system that utilizes the same medium as the brain.”

The ionotronic memristor was created by South Korean scientists who formed a collaboration after a fortuitous encounter with Kamsma. Collectively, they recognized the potential of utilizing the device as a computational synapse. This is a non-operational computer, but it demonstrates the potential for creating a computer-like device with synapses that closely mimic our own.

“It signifies a significant progress towards computers that can not only imitate the communication patterns of the human brain but also utilize the same medium,” Kamsma stated. “This may eventually lead to the development of computing systems that more accurately imitate the remarkable abilities of the human brain.”

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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