Users close to the world of modding and from the PC gaming they know that there is nothing like experimentation to get ideas forward no matter how absurd they may seem. However, apart from seeing people cooking food on the CPU or using diamonds to cool it down, we never expected to see a fungus serving as brain of a pc.
It’s as crazy as it sounds, and it even looks like something out of a Cronenberg-style visual horror movie, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL), located in the United Kingdom, is tinkering with computers that run on mushrooms.
The lab, led by Andrew Adamatzk, is using these organisms with a view to applying the concepts of hardware and software to living creatures. As a result of this, the British laboratory has populated a PC motherboard with these organisms based on a previous study where it discovered that fungi communicate through electrical signals through the mycelium (a root-like-appearing structure of fungi).
This mycelium is, reducing it to the extreme, it connects the fungi as if it were a neuronal interconnection. With this, and making use of the peaks and drops of the current in the connection, it can be transferred to the binary language that uses the conventional computer. In fact, stimulating the mycelia an increase in capacities can be achieved, as well as the speed and reliability communication between fungi.
Of course, and as TomsHardware points out, this should not be thought of as a “substitute” for the current PC. Its performance is not flawless. Nor is it being tested with a view to using it on a daily basis. Even so, it is spectacular that by using organisms such as fungi they can populate a PC and make it work. It’s time to welcome the cordyceps fishbowl.