Skip to main content

AI breakthroughs could come via the brains of bees, scientists say

The brains of bees could help to take AI systems to the next level, according to scientists in the U.K.

The team at the University of Sheffield has conducted a study that it says reveals the underlying mechanisms that drive the creatures’ ”remarkable” decision-making capabilities, which could be transferred to AI technologies, the BBC reported.

Using 20 honey bees, the team carried out various tests to examine how the flying insect decides which flowers to explore for nectar, with particular attention paid to the speed and accuracy of their decisions to accept and reject different flowers.

The creatures were tracked with a camera to see how long it took them to decide which flower to fly to. The results revealed that they wasted no time in heading straight to flowers they thought would have food — landing there in an average of 0.6 seconds — but were equally quick to reject flowers that they judged as having no food.

The team then created a computer model designed to replicate the honey bees’ decision-making process. “This approach offered insights into how a small brain could execute such complex choices ‘on the fly,’ and the type of neural circuits that would be required,” the team said in its research paper, adding that the sophistication of honey bee decision-making processes “rivaled that reported for primates.”

Now it’s up to tech developers to consider how the findings might be adapted to refine the design of their AI-powered creations, with the scientists suggesting the results could be harnessed “to design more efficient decision-making algorithms for artificial systems, and in particular for autonomous robotics.”

The leader of the study, Dr HaDi MaBouDi, said the research could be used to create “better, more robust and risk-averse robots and autonomous machines that can think like bees — some of the most efficient navigators in the natural world.”

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Even OpenAI has given up trying to detect ChatGPT plagiarism
A laptop screen shows the home page for ChatGPT, OpenAI's artificial intelligence chatbot.

OpenAI, the creator of the wildly popular artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT, has shut down the tool it developed to detect content created by AI rather than humans. The tool, dubbed AI Classifier, has been shuttered just six months after it was launched due to its “low rate of accuracy,” OpenAI said.

Since ChatGPT and rival services have skyrocketed in popularity, there has been a concerted pushback from various groups concerned about the consequences of unchecked AI usage. For one thing, educators have been particularly troubled by the potential for students to use ChatGPT to write their essays and assignments, then pass them off as their own.

Read more
Top authors demand payment from AI firms for using their work
Person typing on a MacBook.

More than 9,000 authors have signed an open letter to leading tech firms expressing concern over how they're using their copyrighted work to train AI-powered chatbots.

Sent by the Authors Guild to CEOs of OpenAI, Alphabet, Meta, Stability AI, IBM, and Microsoft, the letter calls attention to what it describes as “the inherent injustice in exploiting our works as part of your AI systems without our consent, credit, or compensation.”

Read more
The best AI video editing tools
KateFrames Studio AI editor.

If you want to make video content, you need to know how to edit. At least, you used to. With the power of some of the latest artificial intelligence video editing tools, you can get by with just a few clicks. Some of the best AI video editors have the power to craft your content for you or repackage it for different platforms with just the click of a button.

You'll still need to record the footage yourself (most of the time), and there's no substitute for a good human-driven edit, but if you want some AI tools to help you out and expedite your editing, here are the best AI video editing suites you can use right now.

Read more