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Sea slug inspires new AI technology


In sea slugs, there are two signs of intelligence — habituation and sensitisation. Habituation means normalising response to a stimulus over time. Sensitisation, however, is quite the opposite. It is the part of intelligence by which an organism strongly reacts to a new stimulus.

AI has often struggled to keep up with these apparently opposite sides of intelligence. AI, as we know it today, cannot store new information without first rewriting old data. But habituation would allow AI to not store unnecessary data while sensitisation would help retain new information. This would increase stability while also enabling plasticity.

Editorial note: The PANN network can be retrained as needed without rewriting old data, but adding to it.