Intelligence isn't easy to measure. Artificial intelligence projects can rely on various tests, like the Turing test and games of skill (eg. poker, chess,
, go) for comparing human intelligence to silicon-based machine algorithms. There are tests for animals, but it's a bit harder to coax some animals into taking various tests (maybe they're smarter for not wanting to participate). The Flynn Effect
shows (but doesn't explain) that human IQ scores have been increasing over time, but is everything actually getting smarter? Here are just a few more examples of smart animals we've found.
- In fables and other stories, crows are usually pretty smart, but how smart are they really? Let's give them some tests! Previously, we've seen crows that have been able to figure out how to make and use simple tools, and some crows can apparently solve 8-step problems. [url]
- Avian intelligence tests have shown that for myna birds, there is quite a bit of variance in their population. Also, the most innovative myna birds were fast to learn a new task but not as flexible to change their behavior when conditions changed. [url]
- Chaser, a 9-year-old border collie, knows over 1,000 names and words, and she has been called "the most scientifically important dog in over a century" It seems like more and more animals are being found with the comparable cognitive abilities of human toddlers. (insert ominous music here) [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post