Ant Intelligence

If you prepared a list of creatures regarded as highly intelligent, it's unlikely ants would make the cut. This is expected, as on an individual level, ants do not generally display behavior that most humans would regard as intelligence. In fact, it might even be true that most species of ants are unable to learn. Despite this, ant colonies have evolved excellent survival mechanisms through the careful orchestration of ants.

How do the ants coordinate? That's largely the subject of Deborah Gordon's Ant Encounters. This is an accessible and scientific book that makes for a perfect exploration of this species to a curious outsider.

In this interview with author Deborah Gordon, Kyle asks questions about the mechanisms at work in an ant colony and what ants might teach us about how to build artificial intelligence. Ants are surprisingly adaptive creatures whose behavior emerges from their complex interactions. Aspects of network theory and the statistical nature of ant behavior are just some of the interesting details you'll get in this episode.