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Nancy Golden
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Re: Bee brain that potent?
Nancy Golden   10/10/2012 1:11:17 PM
It really is amazing to me what we can learn from "lower life forms." I was also skeptical but according to one web page (benefits-of-honey.com): The bee's brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.

And remember - these little guys aren't supposed to be able to fly if you calculate their wingspan to body mass ratio - so they obviously know something we don't!

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Re: Bee brain that potent?
3drob   10/10/2012 10:17:03 AM
I always assumed the next great phase of industrialization is genetically engineering machines (based on existing plants/animals) that you would grow with seeds like a crop  (and power with biomatter) rather than manufacture in a factory and power on carbon derived energy.

Insects are a perfect starting point, since they are simple enough for us to start understanding their operation and they are already autonomous.  This is the perfect first step in this path.  Only need to know enough about their operation to replace their original "programming" with ours.  Insects are hardly "smart", but they are more than capable of carrying out simple tasks.

Of course, this is also how every sci-fi horror movie starts out.

Charles Murray
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Re: Bee brain that potent?
Charles Murray   10/9/2012 7:11:44 PM
I agree, Beth. I would never have guessed that honeybees could serve as a model of intelligence. Who knows what a honey bee is thinking?

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Re: Bee brain that potent?
gsmith120   10/9/2012 1:30:34 PM
Never thought about a honey bee's brain as a model for AI.  This sounds like the PA university group that demo bees flying in sync with each other around different obstacles.

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Re: Bee brain that potent?
NadineJ   10/9/2012 11:49:08 AM
Honey bees are GREAT models for AI for autonomous flight.  Bees explore independently, looking for the best food source.  When they come back to the hive, they "dance" to precisely communicate the best path to the abundance.  It's fascinating and very complex.

If drones could work together, communicating like bees, they could be more effective and used in benign applications.

Beth Stackpole
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Bee brain that potent?
Beth Stackpole   10/9/2012 7:21:01 AM
Hard to think that the tiny brain of a honey bee could hold so much promise in terms of directing autonomous flight. I would think studying the characteristics of migrating birds would have more impact on AI advances in this area. 

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