Note — Jun 19, 2022

Animal Magic: Why Intelligence Isn’t Just for Humans

Philip Ball writes about some of the fascinating examples of animal intelligence he covers in his upcoming book The Book of Minds: How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, from Animals to Aliens. He presents us with optimistic pigs, neurodiversity in birds, theory of mind, the New Caledonian crow of the south Pacific, waggling bees, alien octopi, and plants, to make the point that we don’t really know enough about intelligence other than our own.

More → Threading much the same ideas and also stemming from his book, James Bridle writes about more than human intelligence, an escaping orangutan, and … politics, in Can democracy Include a world beyond humans?

Our evolutionary lineage diverged from that of octopuses (which are molluscs) around the dawn of complex multicellular life 600m years ago; our common ancestor was a mere flatworm. So octopuses represent an entirely distinct evolutionary path to making a mind – and how different it looks! […]

Some researchers suggest that octopuses have dual or even multiple consciousness: each individual creature might be a loosely integrated community of minds. […]

Computers and AI are taking off in the “intelligence” direction of mind-space while gaining nothing on the “experience” axis: their trajectory is heading not towards us but somewhere else entirely.