Monday, May 04, 2009

How do ants know what to do?

A very interesting video of Deborah Golden talking about how ants learn and work...

In my opinion the behavior of ant colonies can serve as inspiration to help us change the way we learn/work within an increasingly complex and fast changing environment. There are many lessons that we can get from ant colony behavior:
- In ant colonies there is no central control and no ants directs the behavior of others; our learning/work is controlled/directed by the teacher/institution.
-  In ant colonies ants switch tasks, our learning is driven by one task, namely be a passive recipient of information.
- In ant colonies ants adjust to the environment (double-loop learning), we only act according to norms specified by an outside force (single-loop learning).
- Ant colonies are driven by emergence and self-organization, our learning/work is driven by command and control.


Barbara Fillip said...

Thanks for pointing to this video presentation. It was quite interesting to realize that ant colonies don't rely on perfect organization of labor but rather on a good enough,simple and systematic communication system. You don't have one category of ants communicating in one way and another category within the same colony using a different system. Communication is completely decentralized, local and just-in-time, which seems to explain how they adjust their behavior so quickly and relatively efficiently.

Mohamed Amine Chatti said...

Totally agree with you Barbara. Ant colonies are indeed a great example of how complex systems can be coordinated with relatively simple interactions.