In episode 39, Richard Byrne has spent his whole career trying to determine when animals learned to ‘think.’ We discuss Richard Byrne’s methodology for determining which animals have what he calls ‘insight’ (the ability to utilize mental models) and why his methodology is awesomely Popperian. Then we go over many examples of animal behavior that can’t be explained via genetic programming or trial-and-error learning. We also compare machine learning and animal intelligence and why animal intelligence is beyond our current machine learning capabilities.
- Richard Byrne’s book Evolving Insight: How it is we can think about why things happen
- Richard Byrne’s book The Thinking Ape: The Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence
- A primer on Donald Campbell’s Theory (including animal learning and the Baldwin effect)
- A short summary of how Popper and Campbell (apparently) disagree with David Deutsch on what counts as knowledge creation