What are the advantages of using mushrooms as part of a computer?
Andrew Adamatsky of the University of West England at Bristol and others are exploring ways to use the properties of mushrooms that emit electrical signals and use them as conductors instead of electronic devices. Charlotte Fu, a technology writer, explained the research of Mr. Adamatsky et al., Which integrates mushrooms into computers.
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Mr. Adamatsky, who is promoting a project to integrate mushrooms into electronic devices, was previously working on a project to handle computational problems using slime molds. Slime molds have amazing properties such as being able to solve the shortest path of the maze without brains or nerves, and it is also possible to control robots by applying stimulation. Mr. Adamatski seems to have been interested in mushrooms when the slime mold project was settled down. Mr. Adamatsky is working on various experiments using mushrooms with characteristics similar to slime molds.
Computers convert information into binary numbers of 0 and 1 and process it, but Fu points out that it is impossible to capture everything in the real world in binary numbers. Researchers are working to develop quantum computers and chips based on living cells, with the goal of representing and processing information in a more multidimensional way, and approaching specific problems more precisely. because you are trying to achieve it.
In the biological brain, neurons transmit signals using spike activity and patterns, and artificial neural networks are made to imitate this property. In fact, the mycelium also does something similar, and Mr. Adamatsky and his colleagues can capture the electrical signals emitted by the mycelium.
“The mycelium culture is mixed with hemp or wood shavings and placed in a sealed plastic box to allow the mycelium to settle on the substrate,” Adamatski says. I will record, ”he explains the mechanism of the computer fused with the mycelium.
an action potential . By considering the presence or absence of a reaction as 0 or 1, researchers seem to replace it with a binary number and execute processing.
By giving a stimulus, the mycelium shows a reaction similar to
Also, if you give it an electrical stimulus, you can get various reactions, and the conductivity between the hyphae increases, so you can communicate faster and more reliably. Taking advantage of these characteristics, Mr. Adamatski et al.
Computers that integrate mushrooms are not as fast as conventional devices, but they have advantages such as self-regeneration, natural growth, and low energy consumption.
So far, research has been conducted on Tokiirohiratake, Enokitake, Suehirotake, etc., but it is still possible to perform calculations using mycelium, and it is difficult to implement basic logic circuits and electronic circuits. It just seems to prove that it is possible. ``In the future, we will be able to grow more advanced mycelium computers and controllers,'' said Adamatsky.