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Computers: microbes made to crunch numbers and predict future events

Tetrahymena thermophila

Masayuki Ushio et al./Kyoto University

A colony of single-celled organisms can function as a biological computer to crunch a series of historical data points and forecast the future. An experiment that replaced each node in a neural network with a tiny organism showed that the waxing and waning size of the colony could accurately forecast the next step in time series data, such as the size of daily fishing catches of certain species in Japanese waters.

Neural networks are a highly popular form of artificial intelligence that uses clusters of mathematically connected nodes …

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