What Humans Can Learn From Semi-intelligent Slime


As my third post on my WordPress I’m going to share a video that I’ve watched very recently.

This video is a TED Talk presentation made by Heather Barnett, inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, presenting a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas and exploring what people can learn from this semi-intelligent slime mold.

«A third experiment: the slime mold was invited to explore a territory covered in oats. It fans out in a branching pattern. As it goes, each food node it finds, it forms a network, a connection to, and keeps foraging. After 26 hours, it established quite a firm network between the different oats. Now there’s nothing remarkable in this until you learn that the center oat that it started from represents the city of Tokyo, and the surrounding oats are suburban railway stations.
The slime mold had replicated the Tokyo transport network — (Laughter) — a complex system developed over time by community dwellings, civil engineering, urban planning. What had taken us well over 100 years took the slime mold just over a day.
The conclusion from their experiment was that the slime mold can form efficient networks and solve the traveling salesman problem

An people still fear “robots”, bioinformatic programmes that can take revenge or try to correct/conquer us and your habits for efficiency standards, virus and programmable systems…but if someday scientists can replicate the slime’s biological systems to the digital world, even with good/correct reasons, maybe someday they can change our bio-information and (global) cities information, and change our views of efficiency and excellency, we are “screwed”…

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve liked it and found it interesting.

Best regards,
Pedro Calado

2 thoughts on “What Humans Can Learn From Semi-intelligent Slime

    • I couldn’t agree more, they are amazing beings and we have so much to learn about the techniques/designs that Nature perfected and developed thoroughly for millions of years, that we are still trying to overcome and replicate with the help of science and technology. That is really interesting and motivating for scientists and engineers.

      Slimes are truly remarkable, their adaptability and response/feedback/growth of 1 cm an hour is astonishing, if we could apply that to computers, materials or fibers, it would be awesome, and I believe we will, just in a few years from now, including applying this “intelligence responsive growth” to nano-tech.

      Many thanks for your feedback and comment Chris, feel free to continue doing so in the future, and don’t lose that curiosity on science 🙂

      Best regards,
      Pedro Calado

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s