Today’s artificial intelligence efforts require rooms full of servers, running complex algorithms, and burning tremendous amounts of energy.  Could these rooms full of computers outperform a mosquito brain, when it comes to learning how to navigate the 3-D world?

Imagine trying to replicate the brain functionality of the 220,000 neuron mosquito:

  1. Sensory Processing: Mosquitoes use their brains to process sensory information from their environment. They can detect various cues like heat, humidity, carbon dioxide, and chemical odors, which help them locate potential hosts for blood-feeding.
  2. Navigation: Mosquitoes have a rudimentary sense of navigation, allowing them to fly and find their way to suitable breeding sites, resting places, and food sources. They use their brains to process visual and olfactory cues for navigation.
  3. Flight Control: The mosquito’s brain controls its flight, allowing it to hover, change direction, and land. This is crucial for finding hosts, avoiding predators, and reaching breeding sites.
  4. Feeding Behavior: Mosquitoes use their brains to coordinate the complex behaviors involved in feeding, such as finding a suitable host, piercing the skin, and extracting blood. They also detect and process cues related to the host’s suitability for feeding.
  5. Reproductive Behaviors: The mosquito’s brain is involved in mating behaviors, including finding and courting mates, as well as laying eggs in appropriate water sources. It helps process sensory information related to potential mates and suitable egg-laying sites.
  6. Learning and Memory: Mosquitoes have been observed to exhibit some degree of learning and memory. Their brains play a role in forming associations between certain cues and positive or negative outcomes. This can help them remember successful feeding or breeding sites.
  7. Host-Seeking Behavior: The mosquito’s brain is crucial for host-seeking behavior, as it enables them to locate and identify potential hosts by processing sensory cues such as body heat, body odor, and exhaled carbon dioxide.
  8. Escape Responses: When threatened or attacked, mosquitoes use their brains to execute escape responses, such as evasive flight maneuvers and hiding.
  9. Timekeeping: Mosquitoes have daily and seasonal activity patterns, which may be influenced by their internal biological clocks. Their brains help coordinate these activities, such as when they are most active or when they enter diapause (a state of dormancy) during unfavorable conditions.

How far in the future do you think we are from replicating all of that (and more) AND making it fly, AND making it weigh less than 2.5 milligrams?

Today’s A.I. efforts might just be on the wrong path, if we’re so thoroughly defeated by the tiny mosquito.

It’s time to rethink Artificial Intelligence from the ground up.