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Can the insect brain help us develop smarter, faster AI?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Natural Intelligence.

Dragonflies intercept their prey with 95% accuracy. Understanding how their brains function could be the key to building more efficient algorithms and tech.

About Frances Chance

Frances Chance is a computational neuroscientist. She is also a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where she is using her knowledge of neural systems to try and develop biologically inspired algorithms and technologies. She has always been fascinated by how biological neurons work — in particular, understanding how nervous systems are specialized to fit an animal's ecological niche. Recently, she has begun to explore potential parallels between the operations of neural systems and the challenges faced by modern computers.

Her collaborators include Paloma Gonzalez Pulido, and graduate student, David Munkvold at University of Minnesota. They run the experiments with dragonflies.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour, Manoush Zomorodi and James Delahoussaye. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harsha Nahata
Harsha Nahata (she/her) is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She is drawn to storytelling as a way to explore ideas about identity and question dominant narratives.
Katie Monteleone is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She started out as an intern for the show in January 2019. After her internship, Monteleone began producing for Life Kit before returning to the TED Radio Hour team in October 2019 as a full-time producer.