Scientists create electronic long term memory cells thus taking a crucial step towards building Bionic Brains

The electronic long term memory cell created by researchers can retain and process information simultaneously mimicking the human brains.

Australian researchers at the RMIT University have successfully built an electronic long term memory cell and have taken a crucial step towards creating Bionic Brains. This would be for the first time that a multi-state electronic memory cell have been built which can retain as well as process the information at the same time, just like a human brain.

The electronic long term memory cell built by scientists at MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) is quite thin almost 10,000 times thinner when compared to human hair due to which it has become infinitely versatile, scientists are much more excited about the “memristive” abilities of these new cells.

In other words, now scientists can just assemble millions of these new cells which can then store and process data just like human brain. Researchers feel that the cells will not just retain but also remember the data received previously and further the cells will also be “influenced” by the data.

In a press release, Sharath Sriram, project leader from RMIT University said: “This is the closest we have come to creating a brain-like system with memory that learns and stores analog information and is quick at retrieving this stored information. The human brain is an extremely complex analog computer … its evolution is based on its previous experiences, and up until now this functionality has not been able to be adequately reproduced with digital technology.”

The current storage devices merely have an “On-Off” mechanism and are similar to the USB drives which can take in information usually one binary digit (either a 0 or a 1) at a time.

On the other hand the electronic long term memory cells are much more flexible in terms of what information it can store, it will adapt and further also is capable of learning thus on the way of becoming an intelligent automated machine which has the potential of synchronizing with the human brains and mimicking the patterns and movements of a human brain.

The researchers have further published their findings in Advanced Functional Materials and explained that they have used functional oxide material which is in the form of ultra thin film to create the new cells. They further also mentioned that this material was already created last year and it was checked for its reliability and stability. Now controlled defects have been introduced into the film due to which the cell will be “influenced” by the previous events.

Hussein Nili, one of the researchers said: “We have now introduced controlled faults or defects in the oxide material along with the addition of metallic atoms, which unleashes the full potential of the ‘memristive’ effect – where the memory element’s behavior is dependent on its past experiences.”

Scientists further feel that these new cells could ultimately lead to creation of “Bionic Brain” or “Artificial Intelligence” wherein these devices would retain and retrieval information at a much faster rate requiring minimal energy input and having a memory that is not affected by time. In other words this creation would mimic the extra ordinary intricate human brain.

Researchers envisage that such a Bionic brain would allow them to create and study the mysterious brain diseases such as  Alzheimer’s  and Parkinson’s outside the human body.

Nili told to a correspondent from Mashable: “In terms of those diseases, there are two problems: it is very hard to read what is going on inside a live brain, and the ethical aspect – you cannot experiment on live subjects without repercussions. If you can have a bionic brain and you can replicate those kinds of [diseased] brains … it will make research much easier and accessible.”

With the creation of these long term memory cells the day is not far when will be able see smarter and much faster robots competing with the humans and most probably overtaking humans in every aspect of life!!


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