Caltech researchers use DNA molecules to create artificial intelligence

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a new type of artificial intelligence using a circuit of interacting DNA molecules. The new type of test tube intelligence is capable of recalling memories based on incomplete DNA patterns, the researchers claim.

Unlike in the supercomputers and robots, which use silicon chips, the new artificial neural network uses DNA to develop a simplified model of the human brain.

Claimed to be the first and largest biochemical circuit made of small synthetic DNA molecules so far, the test tube brain consists of four artificial neurons made from 112 distinct DNA strands.

Instead of having a physically connected network of neural cells, researchers at Caltech have succeeded in creating artificial intelligence from a soup of interacting molecules.

"The brain is incredible," says Lulu Qian, a Caltech senior postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering and lead author on the paper describing this work, published in the 21 July issue of the journal Nature. "It allows us to recognise patterns of events, form memories, make decisions, and take actions.

The neural network plays a mind-reading game in which it tries to identify a mystery scientist, according to a Caltech statement.