While generative AI is buzzy right now, what OpenAI, Microsoft and Google are doing may be only part of the story. There is also the process of using biology: the idea of using stem cells to create biocomputers that could potentially be smarter and more energy efficient than what we are used to today.
Australian startup Cortical Labs popped up on the radar after Amazon CTO Werner Vogels flew down to Australia to visit their lab recently, and he even wrote about it, calling it “intriguing.”
Cortical combines synthetic biology and human neurons to develop what it claims is a class of AI, known as “Organoid Intelligence” (OI).
It’s now raised a $10 million funding round led by Horizons Ventures, with participation from LifeX (Life Extension) Ventures (the launch of which which we covered last year), Blackbird Ventures, Radar Ventures and In-Q-Tel (the venture arm of the CIA).
The company says it is already in the process of fulfilling orders for its technology.
How it works is that it uses clusters of lab-cultivated neurons from human stem cells to form what it calls a “DishBrain,” which is then hooked-up to hard silicon to create what it describes as a Biological Intelligence Operating System (biOS).
Some observers say this is the future of AI because human neurons could be better than any digital AI model for generalized intelligence, given that they are self-programming and require far less energy consumption.