The Washington Post reported on a group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany that placed neurons onto transistor chips and noticed that they communicated with each other and with the chips.
This demonstrations leads the way for potential advantages in the construction of artificial retinas, prosthetic limbs, and who knows what else. These developments would be an extension to the nervous system. The main idea of this is to combine the mechanical abilities of electronic circuits with the complexity and intelligence of the human brain.
These combinantions of biology and technology will possibly (and most likely) help the blind to see, the paralyzed move objects witht their thoughts, and robots having the same type of nervous system humans do, deserving the respect of being called intelligent.
Each cell was positioned over a Field Effect Transistor, a device that is capable of amplifying tiny voltages, and a stimulator to prod the cell into activity. This process was repeated 20 times over and the researchers stimulated various cells, which in turn, emitted electrical signals. Biophysicist Peter Fromherz plans to build a 15,000 neruon-transistor based systems. If and when the number gets large enough, a peek could be available on what actually happens in the brain: neurons forming complex computations, thoughts, consciousness, the interlinking activity between the brain's regions, and the complexity of the reaction process humans have.
I am advocate for science, technology, and man's collaboration with it and no doubt this might arise some problems with those who believe technology is the downfall of society. The debates over cloning are still raging on and now, we discovered a new characteristic in science and technology in order to possibly give machines control over of their own mechanical instincts. The brain is possibly the greatest invention we have and for so long, it has been researched to understand its characteristics and why exactly it operates the way it does. Now, once we've uncovered a portion of that (the brain is a map of endless boundaries), AI could be an actual reality.