In the October5, 2015 issue of the Wall Street Journal, there appeared a feature article titled: “Scientists Tap Dragonfly Vision to Build a Better Bionic Eye”, with the subtitle: “Artificial-intelligence system could aid the blind and help create a better driverless car.”
The actual article was written by Rachel Pannett and starts as follows: “What can humans learn from dragonflies? Australian researchers have developed an artificial-intelligence system based on a dragonfly’s vision that they say could help improve the eyesight of people who can see almost nothing. The system also is expected to find applications in automated technologies that rely on artificial sight, such as robots and driverless cars.”
In this article, the dragonfly’s remarkable ability as a predator is mentioned. The dragonfly is perhaps the most successful predator on our planet. The dragonfly’s small brain is also mentioned, with its ability of selective attention, an ability that humans and other primates have. But the focus is the dragonfly’s vision, which has enabled an early-stage bionic eye to be developed in Australia. Clearly there is much to learn from the dragonfly, one of the oldest insects still alive today, predating the dinosaurs and even the cockroach. This knowledge of dragonfly vision may enable AI systems to see as dragonflies see, and who knows what else the dragonfly could teach us.
For the entire online article, with its interesting video, see: http://www.wsj.com/articles/scientists-tap-dragonfly-vision-to-build-a-better-bionic-eye-1444055235