Researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Iowa found that pigeons used a brute-force approach to solving problems (i.e. testing, one by one, all possible combinations), similar to that used in artificial intelligence. says the insider.
The researchers conducted a test on birds. The latter had to classify, by clicking a button, lines and loops of different widths. If they answer correctly, they will be rewarded with a reward.
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Through trial and error, the pigeons gradually improved their performance, moving from a 55% to a 95% correct response rate. Scientists conducted the same tests with artificial intelligence and found that it also learned to reduce the number of errors.
Are pigeons smarter than us?
The study shows that pigeons They have advanced cognitive and attentional processes, and can solve a wide range of classification tasks.
According to Brandon Turner, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, these results indicate that pigeons are natural learners. “Incredibly effective.” On the other hand, they do not know how to generalize information as humans do.
Conversely, humans tend to abandon tasks such as those given to pigeons when they cannot find rules to understand these tasks.
“Pigeons don’t try to make rules; Turner notes. They just use this raw power of trial and error and associative learning. In certain types of specific tasks, this allows them to achieve better results than humans.