Creating artificial intelligence from DNA?

Artificially intelligent DNA: A breakthrough

Artificially intelligent DNA: A breakthrough


The world of artificial intelligence is evolving rapidly. In this blog post, we are going to go through the latest piece of news in the field: the creation of artificially intelligent DNA.


The scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have had a breakthrough – they have succeeded in creating artificial intelligence (AI) from synthetic DNA. How did they manage to do this?

Turning organic matter into AI


Caltech scientists have created artificial intelligence from organic matter. The team developed this DNA-based artificial neural network in a test tube. Even though much more complicated, the human brain is the inspiration for artificial neural networks. The team was drawn to the idea of using DNA due to the predictability of its molecules.


The developers of the artificial neural network created an experiment to test out the abilities of the AI. In the experiment, the network’s task was to recognize handwritten numbers. The first needed to teach the network to recognize numbers, after which it will be able to recognize them itself by comparing the number to its own “memories”.


Instead of visual handwriting, the experiment utilized molecular handwriting. This translates to molecular numbers, which consist of 20 unique strands of DNA. These strands are chosen from 100 different molecules and each one of them represent a specific pixel on a 10 by 10 design. The strands are then mixed in a test tube.


The artificial neural network, dubbed “smart soup”, managed to correctly identify all numbers, ranging from 1 to 9.

What will the future bring?


Even in its early stages of development, scientists believe there is great potential in artificial intelligence in molecular machines. Furthermore, they believe AI made from organic matter could change the world like computers did back in the day. There are so many possibilities for what AI from DNA could do in the future.


This kind of artificial intelligence could possibly learn to think for itself and for example diagnose diseases. According to Lulu Qian, who is one of the researchers of the project as well as a bioengineering assistant professor at the institute, anything made out of molecules could develop intelligent behaviors. As a result, things like paint and bandages could become more responsive to their environments in the future.

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