The human brain is unsurpassed for many key tasks and is very low power (20 W), while DNA can store data in a more compact form than conventional inorganic systems. Moreover, cost curves for biotechnologies have a faster exponential than electronics.
The IARPA MICrONS project aims to revolutionize machine learning by reverse-engineering the algorithms of the brain. George Church offers an overview of work to reverse-engineer visual cortical connections at synapse-level resolution combined with activity map to produce better algorithms for vision and explains how his team has accelerated in vitro growth of many brain architectures from 400 to 4 days, which might enable us to build new hybrid bio-opto-electronic artificial computational platforms.
George Church is professor at Harvard and MIT, where he has developed methods used for the first genome sequence in 1994 and genome recoding, leading to million-fold cost reductions. He co-initiated the BRAIN Initiative and Genome Projects to provide and interpret the world’s only open-access personal precision medicine data. He is the coauthor of 450 papers, 95 patent publications, and the book Regenesis.
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