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    5 Star Lounger
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    The bird who might beat you at chess




    WACKY WEB WEEK

    The bird who might beat you at chess


    By Kathleen Atkins
    Whoever uses "birdbrain" as a term of abuse ought to think again clearly, this time. This BBC video documents the problem-solving prowess of a crow, who can work out an eight-step procedure without losing any of his tools (each of which he has to discover and retrieve) along the way. I was impressed. Maybe we should worry less about being out-foxed than out-crowed.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/wacky-web-week/the-bird-who-might-beat-you-at-chess/ (free content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I saw a PBS Nova program about the corvids (crows and their kin) not long ago which covered much the same ground as this video. Not the chess playing, but other demonstrations of corvid intelligence and social awareness.

    Also of interest along the same lines was a recent PBS Nature series on Animal Intelligence with a program on Bird Brains.

    Both PBS programs dealt with the questions raised by recent experimental demonstrations of bird and crow intelligence. It turns out, crows are very social for birds, challenging even the notion of Primate social intelligence.

    Also of interest is the whole field of machine intelligence, or Artificial Intelligence (AI). Just last night, AI was the main focus of a PBS adaptation of Dr. David Eagleman's book The Brain, The Story of You.

    These PBS shows may be available on the PBS Video website, or for download (not free) on iTunes.

    We may have to plan to face a future of intelligent animals, intelligent machines, and virtualized human beings. And a future in which we can actually change the way our brains function. (I was personally intrigued by Dr. Eagleman's experiments with strong magnetic fields and adults with Asperger's Disorder.) All of which is already challenging our notions of just what is so very Human about human intelligence. The old Turing Test is beginning to falter and may actually fail soon.

    Suggested Viewing and Reading:

    Dr. David Eagleman, The Brain, The Story of You. Available through Amazon.com and other outlets, or for purchase from the PBS online Store.
    PBS The Brain, Third (final) installment PBS Video or iTunes.
    PBS Nova Animal Intelligence (three part series of Nature) iTunes or PBS Video. The part about "Bird Brains". PBS Video or iTunes.
    PBS Nova A Murder of Crows. PBS Video or iTunes.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Kathleen Atkins (2015-11-23)

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Bad enough we have to listen to their shrieks now they are a threat to our heritage as Alpha beings on planet earth!
    Bob I will try to check out those vids once I get Roku going.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  5. #4
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    It turns out, crows are very social for birds, challenging even the notion of Primate social intelligence.
    Have to say the same about the bunch of sparrows or finchs in the pine tree in my front yard, gets quite noisy with all their 'talking'.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Have to say the same about the bunch of sparrows or finchs in the pine tree in my front yard, gets quite noisy with all their 'talking'.
    Don't know about sparrows, but if those were crows, I'd be wary of what they might be talking about!
    -- Bob Primak --

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