Researchers connect brain and artificial neurons via the Internet

Researchers at four European universities have published a study describing the creation of a hybrid neural network where biological and artificial neurons located in different parts of the world were able to communicate with each other via the Internet. The communication was possible via a hub of artificial synapses created through nanotechnology. In practice, a set of complex nanoelectronic synapses developed at the University of Southampton were used to connect rat neurons cultivated by researchers at the University of Padova with artificial neurons developed on silicon microchips by researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The study demonstrates that brain-computer interfaces, artificial neural networks, and advanced memory technologies can work together. This paves the way towards new research into the potential of replacing dysfunctional brain parts with AI chips, while also laying the foundations for an ‘Internet of neuro-electronics’, according to Themis Prodromakis, Professor of Nanotechnology and Director of the Centre for Electronics Frontiers at the University of Southampton.