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Programming Science Technology

Artificial Neural Networks Demonstrate the Evolution of Human Intelligence 107

samazon writes "Ph.D. students at Trinity College in Dublin have constructed an artificial neural network model to demonstrate the Machiavellian intelligence theory — that human intelligence evolved based on the need for social teamwork and indexing a variety of social relationships and statuses. (Abstract) The experiment involved programming a base group of 50 simulated 'brains' which were required to participate one of two classical game theory dilemmas — the Prisoner's Dilemma or the Snowdrift game. Upon completion of either game, each 'brain' produced 'offspring' asexually, with 'brains' that made more advantageous choices during the games programmed to have a better chance to reproduce. A potential random mutation during each generation changed the 'brain's structure, number of neurons, or the strengths of the connections between those neurons,' simulating the evolution of the social brain. After 50,000 generations, the model showed that as cooperation increased, so did the intelligence of the programmed brains." The full paper is available.
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Artificial Neural Networks Demonstrate the Evolution of Human Intelligence

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  • by Covalent ( 1001277 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:20PM (#39646279)
    The paper suggests that evolution favors cooperation but that it also favors low-cost solutions (i.e. lots of little dumb brains (ants) vs. singular powerful brains (humans)). Perhaps this explains the Fermi Paradox: Aliens are all over the place on other worlds, but they're mostly the former kind of cooperative rather than the latter.
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:26PM (#39646401)
    Keep going. C.Elegans has more neurons than that.

    You can go look at them - someone has been nice enough to digitise the entire nervous system, down to every last synapse. It's browseable at []

    For the singulatity fans: Yes, this is almost the first full brain upload. It isn't quite, as it doesn't store synapse response data and the brain-map is actually a composite from multible individuals, but give it a couple more decades and one of the little worms may go down in history as the first naturally-occuring intelligence (If you can call it that) to make the transition to digital immortality.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission