Oct 29, 2023

Who you callin‘ bird-brained? Pigeons learn the same way AI models do

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Despite many studies showing pigeons are surprisingly smart, from being as good at counting as primates, to being able to identify breast cancer in X-rays, scientists are fighting a losing battle to dispute their widely held reputation as being a bit “dim-witted.”

A new study has pitted the pigeon up against an artificial-intelligence model and found that both bird and computer follow a similar process in order to work out the problem they’re presented with.

“We found really strong evidence that the mechanisms guiding pigeon learning are remarkably similar to the same principles that guide modern machine learning and AI techniques,” said Brandon Turner, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University. “Our findings suggest that in the pigeon, nature may have found a way to make an incredibly efficient learner that has no ability to generalize or extrapolate like humans would.”

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