Is it ethical to use complex mini-brains for artificial intelligence?

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Michelle D’urbano

DO WE want a future in which data centres full of living, bodiless brains carry out various tasks for us? That is the question raised by the work being done by at least three teams around the world.

In 2021, I reported on how Brett Kagan at Cortical Labs in Australia was growing flat sheets of mouse and human brain cells, hooking them up to electrodes and getting them to play games such as Pong. “We often refer to them as living in the Matrix,” he told me at the time. “When they are in the game, they believe they are the paddle.” …

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