Honeybees learn to do the math. What it means for AI

Feb 08, 2019, 7:36 AM EST
(Source: Axel Rouvin/flickr)
(Source: Axel Rouvin/flickr)

There were quite a few of us loathed math in our school days. One wonders if there can be any kind of amicable relationship with those hideous formulae and confusing signs, angles, and conversions. But tiny honeybees seem to enjoy the subject of our hate, and this could have a link to the future of artificial intelligence.

A team of Australian and French researchers recently designed a clever experiment to teach simple math to honeybees and after 100 trails, the insects learned how to add and subtract one, writes Futurism.

Such behavior has already been recorded in birds and certain primates, but the case with honeybees demonstrates that humans’ advanced numerical cognition is shared more widely by animal kingdom than previously thought. The results also indicate a potential new route of approaching mathematical problems via short-term memories, which can help speed up AI learning of new problems, reports Smithsonian.com.