Of Ant Colonies and Neural Networks

Context: Ant colonies behave like neural networks when making decisions

…and, indeed, vice versa but we would do as well to acknowledge that such adaptive autotelic information and energy-processing symmetries quite plausibly constitute something of a primary reality of which all complex instances, resonant analogies and artefacts of salient or perceived intelligence represent mere component microcosms. It is a difficult conceptual leap to make but asserting the harmonic field, the relationship, the interdependent and the indefinitely-extensible abstraction of information-processing as the center of gravity in systems ontologies allows us to extricate ourselves from the messy dualism towards which linguistic (and corollary cognitive) biases predispose us.

We also do well to remember that this is an analogy to brains, not to artificial neural networks and that it is precisely the irreducibly stochastic properties of biological (and “naturally-occurring”) dynamical systems that provides them sufficient self-organisational wiggle room as degrees of freedom to express such spontaneous creativity in the gestalt. The truly mischievous property of such complex systems is not the intelligence they appear to embody so much as this aptitude actually constitutes the inverse presence of all that they are not.

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