Pong So Easy a Brain Cell Could Play It!


Researchers have officially gotten a dish of brain cells to play Pong, whose Atari recently celebrated 50 years since its inception and the game’s release. According to CNN, scientists connected the neurons of humans and mice to a computer, where neurons were made aware if their paddle was making contact with the ball.

In a paper published last week in the journal Neuron, researchers claim they were able to demonstrate “the neurons could adapt activity to a changing environment, in a goal-oriented way, in real time.”

One of the authors, Brett Kagan, said the team chose Pong due to its simplicity and familiarity, adding that it was one of the first games used in machine learning. His team is now testing other games.

By the way, RePlay traveled to San Jose to picnic with Atarians as they gathered to celebrate the company’s golden anniversary. See the story and pictures in the November issue.


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