Intelligence & Cuttlefish

Yesterday, I met up with Danbee Kim, a researcher at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour and Scientist-in-Residence at the Brighton Sea Life Centre.

This was the second time we’d met, this time with her labmates, and wow, what a wonderful, welcoming and extremely bright, in both senses of the word, bunch of people.

I was invited to a ‘teach-in’ for the lab about machine learning and I had one of those afternoons where you think you’re just about keeping up until someone asks a question and another layer of complexity is exposed. I loved it.

Danbee and I are collaborating on a story based around her research and the work of the centre. After four hours in her company I know more than I ever thought I would about the difficulties of defining intelligence, cuttlefish and what puts the deep into machine learning. 

I’m really hoping this is the start of a long collaboration because these guys are great, there’s loads more I’d like to understand and I reckon between us there’s a lot of near-future fiction waiting to be written.

Now, if you want to know a bit more about these things too you’ll have to come along to the Fitzrovia Festival event – Collaboration Works – where I’ll be reading the story and Danbee will be responding. You can then join in the Q&A and chat over a glass of wine at the end.


photo credit: q.phia cuttle, tanjung kusu-kusu, lembeh, indonesia, 2017 via photopin (license)

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