Mushroom Computers: The Future of Computing Could Be Grown, Not Built

Mushroom Computers: The Future of Computing Could Be Grown, Not Built

Table of Content

This article explores the innovative research happening at the Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), where scientists are developing a computer made solely from mushrooms, due to the similarities between the fungus’s root system and the human brain’s synapses.

 Key takeaways:

  1. Researchers at the Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) are working on creating a computer made entirely of organic material, specifically mushrooms.
  2. Mushroom computers have the potential to be more fault-tolerant, reconfigurable, and energy-efficient than traditional solid-state electronics.
  3. Mushroom computers can establish memories and have the ability to communicate faster and more reliably.
  4. The potential applications for mushroom computers are vast and far-reaching, including machine/brain interfacing, more efficient and environmentally friendly computers, and insights into the natural world.
  5. The research on mushroom computers is still in its infancy, but the results are promising, and continued research and development could revolutionize the way we process information and interact with the natural world.

Unconventional Computing Laboratory at UWE Bristol Creates a Mushroom Computer

Researchers at the Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) in the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are conducting innovative research to develop a computer made entirely of organic material. 

Specifically, they are exploring the use of mushrooms as the building blocks for this new kind of computer. 

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Adamatzky believes that mushrooms are an ideal organism to experiment with due to the similarity between the mycelium, the thin hair-like parts of a fungus’s root system, and the human brain’s synapses.

Mushrooms as an Ideal Analog for Traditional Motherboard Components

Mycelia can transmit electrical impulses, making them an ideal analog for traditional motherboard components. 

Adamatzky’s team has managed to translate the spikes of electrical activity generated by mushrooms into ones and zeros, mimicking the binary language of computers. 

Although mushroom computers are not as fast as solid-state electronics, they have the potential to be more fault-tolerant, reconfigurable, and energy-efficient.

Establishing Memories like the Human Brain

Mushroom computers have the ability to establish memories, much like how the human brain forms habits. 

By stimulating the fungus at two separate points, conductivity between them increases, allowing for faster and more reliable communication. 

The current research is still in the feasibility study phase, but it has the potential to lead to groundbreaking advancements in the field of machine/brain interfacing. 

This has applications in the fields of prosthetics and behavior control disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Exploring Unconventional Computing Methods

The UCL’s work on mushroom computers is not the first time they have explored unconventional computing methods. 

Adamatzky previously worked on slime mold computers from 2006 to 2016, which involved using slime mold to carry out computing problems. 

By exploring unconventional computing methods such as mushroom and slime mold computers, researchers are exploring new ways to process and analyze information.

Advantages of Mushroom Computers

Mushroom computers could have numerous other benefits over traditional computers. They could be more fault-tolerant since they can self-regenerate and reconfigure themselves. 

This would make them ideal for use in environments that are prone to power outages or other disruptions. 

Mushroom computers also consume very little energy, making them suitable for creating more energy-efficient data centers and other computing infrastructure.

Implications for Our Understanding of the Natural World

The research on mushroom computers could also have important implications for our understanding of the natural world. 

For example, scientists have long been interested in the way that fungi communicate with each other using a kind of “internet” communication. 

By understanding the language that fungi use to communicate with each other through their biological network, scientists may be able to gain more knowledge about underground ecosystems and improve their comprehension of how they operate.

Promising Future of Organic Computing

In general, the Unconventional Computing Laboratory’s research at the University of the West of England is creating new opportunities in computing and other areas. 

Although mushroom computers are not yet a reality, the benefits of this technology are too valuable to disregard. 

With continued research and development, we may soon be living in a world where computers are made entirely of organic matter, revolutionizing the way we process information and interact with the natural world.

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Written by

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling is a renowned financial writer with over 10 years in the finance sector. With a strong economics background, he simplifies complex financial topics for a wide audience. Alexander contributes to top financial platforms and is working on his first book to promote financial independence.

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Judith

Judith

Judith Harvey is a seasoned finance editor with over two decades of experience in the financial journalism industry. Her analytical skills and keen insight into market trends quickly made her a sought-after expert in financial reporting.