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How Hacking Honeybees Brings AI Closer to the Hive

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A honey bee.

Said Opteran Technologies senior researcher HaDi MaBouDi, “Surprisingly, bees’ decisions are not only highly adaptive and accurate but also faster when it comes to correct choices compared to incorrect ones.”

Credit: Frédéric Collin/Getty Images

Computer scientists at the U.K.'s University of Sheffield have developed a new form of decision-making machine intelligence by analyzing the brains of honeybees.

The researchers monitored 20 bees as they probed color-coded flowers, determining their accurate and faster decision-making compared to animals and artificial systems "exhibits a level of intricacy that parallels certain aspects of decision-making seen in higher animal species," according to Sheffield's HaDi MaBouDi.

The researchers created a bee-like model with acceptance and rejection decision pathways that weigh the quality of stimuli to arrive at decisions, while retaining past stimuli information to recall irrelevant stimuli.

The model's response rates were similar to those of bees when presented with 25 scenarios of random high-reward and low-reward stimuli.

From IEEE Spectrum
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