The arms are part of a team. They are given orders by the head, and report to it. But other than that, they know their job and can communicate directly for simple tasks.
I can already imagine.
- Brain: prey ahead, advance!
- Tentacles: yes sir
- Tentacle 1: I'm pulling on a rock, get ready tentacle 2
- Tentacle 2: I grabbed the rock, you can let go tentacle 1, tentacle 3, get ready
- Tentacle 3: that rock feels weird, alerting brain
- Brain: not a rock, danger, I am shooting ink, let everything go and start swimming
“One of the big picture questions we have is just how a distributed nervous system would work, especially when it’s trying to do something complicated, like move through fluid and find food on a complex ocean floor. There are a lot of open questions about how these nodes in the nervous system are connected to each other,” said David Gire, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington and Sivitilli’s advisor for the project.
Given the success of modeling artificial neural networks after biological ones, I wonder if the results of this research will inform future development of distributed artificial neural networks.
Modern science seems to suggest that if you put a bunch of neurons in a room then it will start questioning quantum physics
Is there an understanding at all on how and when something becomes coordinated and how?
"For effective AI (for robotics specifically), we need to let separate, hardware driven, purpose built OSes run sensing equipment, and then only use a central OS fusing signals as a moderator/clearing house for those signals. Each separate OS should have autonomy over a certain set of functions to varying degrees, and should be overrideable only by strong consensus of the other systems. The important point is that the central OS not act like a traditional scheduler telling the camera and feelers and whatnot what to do all the time. The nature of the machine will instead be defined by complicated subsystems being moderated, but not fully controlled by a central authority, much like the brain/nervous system."
I read somewhere that that the human stomach also has a ton of neurons. So perhaps being an octopus is like being a human with eight gut instincts instead of one.