Brain inserts and carbon-absorbing bacteria aren’t just the fantasies of Silicon Valley’s richest executives, they’re also a part of a larger hope to advance artificial intelligence and computing efforts.
“Biology will undoubtedly fuel computing” in coming years, former Google CEO and current technical advisor Eric Schmidt said at a conference called SynBioBeta in San Francisco Monday. “Taking biology, which I’d always viewed as squishy and analog, and turning it into something that can be digitally manipulated, is an enormous accelerator.”
Schmidt’s comments come as Silicon Valley’s seeming obsession with biology attempts to move beyond fascinating projects and into more serious investments that could help modernize tech processes.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this year announced he and his wife Priscilla Chan would donate $68 million to support the mapping of all the cells in the human body. Facebook also recently acquired a company called CTRL Labs that lets you control computers with your mind. And Neuralink, a start-up once backed by Elon Musk, announced its brain-computer will start trials on humans next year.
“I’m always interested in the question: What is changing the fastest right now? Because whatever that is determining the history of next year,” Schmidt told the crowd. “There’s lot of evidence that biology is in that golden period right now.”