Zero is a difficult concept to comprehend; it takes children a few years to understand this concept. It has long been believed that only humans had the intelligence to comprehend the #conceptofzero, however, recent research has revealed that monkeys and birds also have the capacity to understand it.

Now it has been discovered that #honeybees can also understand the concept of zero, placing them amongst this animal elite. This demonstration of tiny brains #comprehendingabstractconcepts opens the doors to newer and simpler approaches to developing #artificialintelligence.

In this research, scientists tested whether honeybees can rank numerical entities in a descending order and found that bees could place zero at the lowest end of the spectrum.

In a series of experiments, honeybees were rewarded with sugar solution every time they chose an image with the least number of elements; however, they were punished with a bitter-tasting quinine solution if they chose an image containing larger number of elements.

In spite of never having been exposed to an empty image, bees chose an image that did not contain any elements versus an image that contained one or more elements; the bees understood that the empty image (zero) was the lower number. In order to prove that the bees weren’t just going towards the empty picture because of its novelty value: another set of bees was trained to always go for the larger number. These bees had a tendency to pick the non-zero image when tested.

Furthermore, these bees were also able to distinguish between zero and one- a challenge well-documented in some of the other zero club members.

Researchers say that if the honeybee brain with less than a million neurons can perceive zero, then it is possible to teach AI new tricks using simpler and more efficient means.

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