[ExI] Honey bees can do math

Colin Hales col.hales at gmail.com
Sun Feb 10 21:27:59 UTC 2019

This is very cool. Bees. My favourite candidate for the very first robotic
AGI. They just keep getting better and better!

On Mon., 11 Feb. 2019, 4:46 am Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com wrote:

> This one is for you, Spike, since you like both bees and math. Now
> they are together for the first time, like peanut butter and
> chocolate. ;-)
> As if bees weren't amazing enough already, it turns out that they can
> do math with their tiny little brains and even understand the concept
> of zero.
> https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2019/feb/bees-brains-maths
> http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/2/eaav0961
> "When a bee flew into the entrance of the maze they would see a set of
> elements, between 1 to 5 shapes. The shapes were either blue, which
> meant the bee had to add, or yellow, which meant the bee had to
> subtract.
> After viewing the initial number, the bee would fly through a hole
> into a decision chamber where it could choose to fly to the left or
> right side of the maze.
> One side had an incorrect solution to the problem and the other side
> had the correct solution of either plus or minus one. The correct
> answer was changed randomly throughout the experiment to avoid bees
> learning to visit just one side of the maze.
> At the beginning of the experiment, bees made random choices until
> they could work out how to solve the problem. Eventually, over 100
> learning trials that took 4 to 7 hours, bees learned that blue meant
> +1, while yellow meant -1. The bees could then apply the rules to new
> numbers."
> Here are the links describing how researchers learned that bees
> understand the number zero.
> https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2018/jun/honeybees-zero-in-on-nothing
> http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6393/1124
> Stuart LaForge
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