The supremely intelligent rat-cyborg

When Deep Blue battled the reigning human chess champion the world held its breath. Who was smarter … man or machine? A human victory would confirm the superiority of human intelligence, while a victory for Deep Blue would offer great promise for the potential applications of artificial intelligence to benefit mankind. And with the defeat of Garry Kasparov by an algorithm, the debate heated over what constitutes intelligence and whether computers can possess it. But perhaps the answer to the man-versus-machine debate isn’t so black and white. Perhaps both synthetic and biological systems have unique, complementary strengths that, when merged, could yield an optimally functioning “brain” – a supremely intelligent cyborg, if you will. In their new PLOS ONE paper, Yipeng Yu and colleagues tested this possibility, comparing the problem-solving…


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