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Bee research breakthrough might lead to artificial vision

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Bee research breakthrough might lead to artificial vision

New research reveals that honeybees use multiple rules to solve complex visual problems, and study author Adrian Dyer of RMIT University says the findings help explain how cognitive capacities for viewing complex images evolved in the brain. Dyer says rule learning was a fundamental cognitive task that enabled humans to operate in complex environments. "For example, if a driver wants to turn right at an intersection then they need to simultaneously observe the traffic light color, the flow of oncoming cars and pedestrians to make a decision," he says. This type of cognitive task is beyond current machine vision. "Our research collaboration between labs in Australia and France wanted to understand if such simultaneous decision making required a large primate brain, or whether a honeybee might also demonstrate rule learning," Dyer notes. The team trained individual honeybees to fly into a Y-shaped maze that presented different elements in specific relationships, and the bees were able to learn that the elements had to have two sets of rules. The findings showed that multiple simultaneous conceptual rule learning can be mastered without a complex brain. The research also suggests that machines would be able to handle such a task and see almost as well as humans.

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Source: RMIT News


Adrian Dyer (RMIT University)

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