Pin Me

How can Biology inspire Computing?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/23/2008

In our human bodies, and bodies of other living organisms, such as mammals, fish, trees, plants, biology plays a major role. There are still many unanswered questions and to know the reality about those hidden facts, scientists got inspired to employ computers.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Very good question indeed. And the answer is also quite easy. All you require to do is to read this carefully once, twice, and as often as required to understand what it is all about.

    In our human bodies, and bodies of other living organisms, such as mammals, fish, trees, plants, biology plays a major role. There are still many unanswered questions and to know the reality about those hidden facts, scientists got inspired to employ computers.

    One of those major roles biology plays is how the cells, molecules that constitutes those cells, converse, exchange information with each other, control other cells, or molecules, asking them to convert, change or revert, and how does all these molecules, millions and billions of them relate to the other cells in the brains, and how is this information processed, digested, and an action is either performed by the molecules, cells, to break down our food in the digestive tract, give signals at appropriate intervals to our heart, and how does a controller or controllers, process all this information, at what speeds, and how do they see to it that the instructions are carried out.  What is the role of the five senses? How are these filtered, altered, and used by the brain or other cells?

    In finding out these interactions, and lot of them have been found, even while far too many still remain unanswered, those that have been decoded have found that complex algorithms are used, and there is fuzzy logic which is translated by some of the cells either because of the genetic code or the DNA/RNA into real logic.  Similar correlations were tried out in mathematical models of reasoning, and to some extent the math geniuses and computing experts worked out fuzzy logic, which means that the logic is not really clear, but is good enough for something else or someone else to make sense out of it, and built systems of software that could use the either, or, the And OR, or other variations of these operands to build computers which used these logical gates with fuzzy logics, thus creating in some ways Artificial intelligence as opposed to the human intelligence that we all have given to us by our biological systems, genetic codes inherited, the DNA and the RNA.

    That is how most of the robots got built, and some advances have been made with computers with software that does not specify too many things, but leaves some of the ‘gates’ open in the software, allowing it to use such of the other codes made available to arrive at solutions.  And surprisingly, they have worked.  Yet, the frontiers of artificial intelligence, as defined by Bill Gates are yet to be achieved, because of the sheer size of the computing systems and the huge codes that may have to be written for them or a series of short codes lying on various computers interacting with each other.

    So the author is as confused as you are. Let’s go back to the top and start all over again.