There are many exciting new uses for artificial intelligence (AI), but who could have guessed that controlling brain cells was one of them? A new study has used AI-generated artwork to some interesting things to the brain cells and neural activity of macaque monkeys. The technique used could lead to some exciting neuroscience studies in the future.
Conducting the Research
In the study, AI was used to generate unique artwork. This artwork was then shown to macaque monkeys. From there, the monkeys’ neural activity was then monitored to make a note of any changes. What was observed was very notable the monkeys’ brain nerve cells began to fire pictures of real-life objects.
This kind of brain stimulation using AI is one of the first of its kind. According to the research report, which is found in Science, the next step could be to use AI-designed patterns to activate or suppress specific neurons in the brain. The applications of such capabilities could be important to neuroscience research as well as in better understanding and treating various mental disorders.
AI is an invaluable technology that is undoubtedly going to feature more and more in various technologies moving forward. The ability to effectively control the primate brains in the research conducted speaks to how AI is very becoming more and more similar to natural brain functions.
In the macaque experiment, the AI used was a computer model known as an artificial neural network. This is effectively a group of virtual neurons, which have been modeled using the ventral stream, the neural pathway in the brain that that pertains to vision. The training or education of the AI program came from a database of around 1.3 million labeled images. Using this insight, the AI program could come close to having vision or a true sense of it. The AI was then instructed to create artwork that could affect targeted ventral stream neurons in the brain.