Creating Computers Out of Mushrooms

Researchers at the Unconventional Computing Laboratory are exploring the potential to build computers out of living systems in order to create more complex machines. Current technology operates in binaries despite the fact that much of the world is more multidimensional. In comparison, computers potentially made from fungi—with its intricate, branching structure—could offer a new way of processing information. To create them, researchers have tapped into the communicative properties of mycelium, which already conducts electricity and operates its own wireless communication with the environment. Similar to how brain cells form habits, mycelium—when stimulated at separate points—forms faster communication built from memory. “We found actually that mushrooms produce action potential-like spikes. The same spikes as neurons produce,” says the lab’s director Andrew Adamatzky who plans to use this discovery to build “a brain from mushrooms.” Learn more at Popular Science.

Image courtesy of Andrew Adamatzky