What Do Ants Know That We Don’t?

This from Wired.

During the 130 million years or so that ants have been around, evolution has tuned ant colony algorithms to deal with the variability and constraints set by specific environments.

Ant colonies use dynamic networks of brief interactions to adjust to changing conditions. No individual ant knows what’s going on. Each ant just keeps track of its recent experience meeting other ants, either in one-on-one encounters when ants touch antennae, or when an ant encounters a chemical deposited by another.

Such networks have made possible the phenomenal diversity and abundance of more than 11,000 ant species in every conceivable habitat on Earth. So Anternet, and other ant networks, have a lot to teach us. Ant protocols may suggest ways to build our own information networks…

Speaking of what we can learn from ants, here is a project that I’m co-editing.