Swedish Scientists Create World’s First ‘Living’ Computer Using Human Brain Tissue

In a remarkable scientific breakthrough, Swedish researchers have developed the world’s first “living computer” made from human brain tissue. This cutting-edge innovation blends the realms of biology and technology, potentially revolutionizing the way we approach computing and energy consumption.

A Unique Technological Marvel

This pioneering living computer is composed of 16 organoids, which are lab-grown clusters of brain cells. These organoids communicate with one another just like neurons in a human brain or circuits in a conventional computer chip. What sets this living machine apart is its exceptional energy efficiency—living neurons use over a million times less energy than current digital processors.

Unparalleled Energy Efficiency

To illustrate this efficiency, scientists compared the living computer to one of the world’s top digital computers, the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Frontier. They discovered that while the human brain, operating at the same speed and with 1,000 times more memory, uses only 10 to 20 watts, a digital computer requires a staggering 21 megawatts. To put it in perspective, one megawatt equals one million watts. This vast difference underscores the incredible potential of biological systems to reducing energy consumption.

The Visionaries Behind the Project

This groundbreaking project was developed by FinalSpark, a company dedicated to exploring biological neural netreducers. Fred Jordan, co-CEO of FinalSpark, highlighted the novelty of their work, stating, “This idea is common in science fiction, but there isn’t a huge amount of real research on it.” FinalSpark is bringing science fiction closer to reality with its innovative research.

Organoids are tiny, self-organizing, three-dimensional tissue cultures created from stem cells. These mini-brains were cultured for about a month until they developed neurons. Each organoid contains approximately 10,000 living neurons, each about 0.5 mm in diameter. They are trained using dopamine, which acts as a reward similar to its function in the human brain. By shining light on particular areas, the organoids receive a dopamine boost when they complete tasks correctly.

Neurons at Work

Eight electrodes that track their activity are all around the mini-brains. These electrodes can send currents to influence the neurons, allowing researchers to observe and manipulate their responses. This system uses significantly less power than traditional processors, highlighting its energy efficiency.

FinalSpark claims their bioprocessors “consume a million times less power than traditional digital processors.” To put this in context, training a large language model like GPT-3 required 10 gigawatt hours of energy, roughly equal to the annual energy consumption of 10,000 average Indian citizens in 2023. In stark contrast, the human brain operates its 86 billion neurons on just 0.3 kilowatt hours per day, less than the energy consumption of a light bulb!

Looking to the Future

Currently, FinalSpark’s living computer system is used for extensive experiments on brain organoids. Researchers worldwide can connect remotely and conduct experiments, with the mini-brains sustained for up to 100 days. This system is freely available for research purposes, attracting numerous research groups.

This innovation is not without precedent. In 2023, US researchers created a bioprocessor that connected brain organoids to computer hardware, enabling the system to recognize speech patterns. Similarly, an Australian team developed DishBrain, a device that learned to play Pong within minutes.

Final Spark plans to expand its platform’s capabilities to support a wider range of experimental protocols, including injecting molecules and drugs into organoids. The potential applications of this technology span both computing and biomedical research, promising exciting advancements.


Swedish scientists’ creation of the world’s first living computer marks a significant milestone in the fusion of biology and technology. This development promises to revolutionize energy consumption in the IT industry, providing a sustainable alternative to current digital processors. As this technology advances, it challenges our understanding of computing and opens new possibilities for the future of artificial intelligence and human-technology interactions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *