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Experts claim that AI is on the verge of a breakthrough, all thanks to a very small and unexpected culprit- bees. According to new research, the buzzing insects are expected to be used to develop machines that “think like bees,” and will lead to more efficient systems.
A recent study produced findings on the sophisticated decision-making processes of honeybees — which scientists hope could help build better robots and autonomous systems. The research explored the strategies honeybees use when deciding which flowers to visit for nectar.
“Our findings show that bees are remarkably swift and precise in their decision-making, choosing in a matter of seconds whether a flower will provide food or not,” explained Dr. HaDi MaBouDi from the University of Sheffield in the UK, who led the study.
According to Cybernews, the researchers trained 20 bees to recognize artificial flowers of five different colors, offering either a reward or deterrent, to study their decision-making under controlled conditions. Bees decided on the flowers providing food in an average of 0.6 seconds.
“A honeybee, with a brain smaller than a sesame seed, can make decisions faster and more accurately than we can. A robot programmed to do a bee’s job would need the backup of a supercomputer,” said Prof. Andrew Barron from Macquarie University in Sydney, who also led the study. “Our study provides significant insights into designing autonomous machines that can think and navigate as efficiently as bees.”
The company Opteran is working on creating lightweight, low-cost silicon brains that mimic the decision-making process of insects, and it was founded by Prof. James Marshall who is a co-author of the study.
“Our research shows how minimal neural circuitry allows bees to make complex autonomous decisions. Their incredibly efficient brains, evolved over millions of years, can inspire the future of AI,” Prof. Marshall said.
This information was provided by Cybernews.