Stunning Chimp...

David B

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Great clip Mosaix.

We'll soon have to take back the quips about monkeys and typewriters.

I'd better finish my book before they beat me to it.
 

Vertigo

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That is pretty impressive - I'm not psychologist but I would image they must have a photographic memory. The screen with the original numbers flashes on and off so fast I can't see how else it would be possible.
 

Dozmonic

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Very impressive, but I doubt the claim that humans can't do that either. You train at it and you develop tricks to do it. See some of Derren Brown's stunts as examples. Counting numbers of smarties / buttons, or certain colours of them in a quick glance. Drawing architecture from a few seconds glance at it.
 

Mouse

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Yeah I also just watched the programme. Amazing! I thought the Orang utans were pretty damn clever too.
 

Vertigo

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I too watched the programme this evening and it was very good. My only problem was that they showed lots of individual things that individual animals can do and presto they seem to jump to the conclusion that they are as intelligent as humans. Now I'm not saying they aren't smart in certain ways but they are almost certainly ways that fit in some way with their normal survival strategies.

For example the chimp and the numbers. Now don't get me wrong it's impressive that the chimp can get the numbers in the right order and remember their position. But much was being made of the speed that the chimp "remembered" and our inability to do the same and how that somehow meant he was beating us in an intelligence test.

But stop and think about it for a minute. Chimps live in trees; jumping from branch to branch, sometimes across quite terrifying gaps. How can they do that? Well I imagine that if you are doing stuff like that your brain is going to be hardwired to take in everything in your field of vision - big branches, small branches, what will hold your weight and what won't - and assess it incredibly fast to make the decision where best to grab and hold on for safety. This is not a measure of intelligence. And it annoyed me slightly that she kept presenting it as an intelligence test and saying the chimp had surpassed her human teacher in this intelligence test. For me this distracted from the real measure of intelligence which was the ability to go through the numbers in the correct order in the first place irregardless of speed.

As I say don't get me wrong there was some impressive stuff in there but I felt the point kept being put across wrong. Comparing these feats with 5 year old kids for examples is just silly. Most of the animals shown were full adults of their species. We are born with a very large brain that takes a long time and a lot of nurturing to get sorted. Most other animals mature much more quickly* so to make comaprsions with the intelligence of immature humans is just silly. By the age of five they have already mastered the far far harder task of coherent (sort of) speech.

And just to finish off I vote for the skateboarding bulldog. He'd even figured how to take two feet off and kick himself along. Awesome!


* Yes I do know the chimp is closer to ourselves in this regard.
 

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