In what can be described as a landmark moment for Artificial Intelligence (IA), the first living robots in the world have now learned how to self-replicate, as per the scientists who developed them.
Meet The Xenobots!
Engineered by computers and created from the stem cell of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, from where its name is originally derived, were first introduced in 2020 to the world. Back then, scientists had stated that the organisms could survive for weeks without food and also could self-healing, as per CNN report.
However, experts have revealed that these blob-like organisms also have the ability to reproduce in an "entirely new" fashion, scientists at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University said in an official release on November 29.
Our third xenobots paper was published today in PNAS.— Sam Kriegman (@Kriegmerica) November 29, 2021
In a nutshell: they can now self-replicate.
w/ @DougBlackiston, @drmichaellevin, @DoctorJosh
More info: https://t.co/ySLBHeaGlL pic.twitter.com/vTvS2E3PoG
Researchers have also found that xenobots, which are 0.4 inches wide, also have the ability to "gather hundreds" of single cells and "assemble baby" organisms in their mouths. This then helps to become new functional xenobots within days, according to the release.
A Remarkable Breakthrough In Biotech
Josh Bongard from the University of Vermont stated that xenobots made from 3,000 cells had the ability to replicate using "kinetic replication", a procedure which has never been observed before, however, widely renowned to happen at the molecular level.
"We are working to understand this property: replication. The world and technologies are rapidly changing. It's important, for society as a whole, that we study and understand how this works,"
Bongard further stated in the release, while also emphasising the need to have a better understanding of this kind of reproducing biotechnology.