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Neural networks: Artificial intelligence, robotic cockroaches, and our future


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Roach mind!

Humans set the parameters and establish the controls for each virtual environment. The intelligent software and computing technology that helps facilitate our online interactions and mimics real life is known as VI. Such technology is useful in solving real-world problems, but it is not “self-aware” and is limited in its capabilities and operation. Ultimately, VI stops short of learning or abstract thought.

For an intelligent creature to be successful as a self-aware, adaptive being, its structural foundations must rely heavily on biological and environmental signals. In this vein, my colleague John Carbone and I have developed robotic cockroaches with a distributed intelligence system similar to the distributed brain system within an octopus. The three neurons for each distributed “leg” of the brain, along with a central mediator (artificial prefrontal cortex), helps the bugs live autonomously, adjust to changing conditions and remain self-aware.

I wonder how long it will take to go from cockroach intelligence to human intelligence. 

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