Swarm intelligence/In Popular Culture

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Learning Tasks[edit | edit source]

  • Why are scientific approaches are used in fiction literature and why appear current scientific results in an exaggerated form in literature?
  • Are there examples of old fiction literature that become true nowadays?
  • Can fiction literature influence scientific and technical development? Explore old fiction literature and compare with current technology (e.g. Wikipedia:Star Trek)

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Swarm intelligence-related concepts and references can be found throughout popular culture, frequently as some form of collective intelligence or group mind involving far more agents than used in current applications.

  • Science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon may have been the first to discuss swarm intelligences equal or superior to humanity. In Last and First Men (1931), a swarm intelligence from Mars consists of tiny individual cells that communicate with each other by radio waves; in Star Maker (1937) swarm intelligences founded numerous civilizations.
  • The Invincible (1964), a science fiction novel by Stanisław Lem where a human spaceship finds intelligent behavior in a flock of small particles that were able to defend themselves against what they found as a menace.
  • In the dramatic novel and subsequent mini-series The Andromeda Strain (1969) by Michael Crichton, an extraterrestrial virus communicates between individual cells and displays the ability to think and react individually and as a whole, and as such displays a semblance of "swarm intelligence".
  • Ygramul, the Many - an intelligent being consisting of a swarm of many wasp-like insects, a character in the novel The Neverending Story (1979) written by Michael Ende. Ygramul is also mentioned in a scientific paper, "Flocks, Herds, and Schools" written by Knut Hartmann (Computer Graphics and Interactive Systems, Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg).[1]
  • Swarm (1982), a short story by Bruce Sterling about a mission undertaken by a faction of humans, to understand and exploit a space-faring swarm intelligence.
  • The Borg (1989) in Star Trek
  • The Hacker and the Ants (1994), a book by Rudy Rucker on AI ants within a virtual environment.
  • Hallucination (1995), a posthumously-published short story by Isaac Asimov about an alien insect-like swarm, capable of organization and provided with a sort of swarm intelligence.
  • The Zerg (1998) of the Starcraft universe demonstrate such concepts when in groups and enhanced by the psychic control of taskmaster breeds.
  • Wyrm (1998), a novel by Mark Fabi, deals with a virus developing emergent intelligence on the Internet.
  • Decipher (2001) by Stel Pavlou deals with the swarm intelligence of nanobots that guard against intruders in Atlantis.
  • In the video game series Halo, the Covenant (2001) species known as the Hunters are made up of thousands of worm-like creatures which are individually non-sentient, but, collectively form a sentient being.
  • Prey (2002), by Michael Crichton deals with the danger of nanobots escaping from human control and developing a swarm intelligence.
  • The science fiction novel The Swarm (2004), by Frank Schätzing, deals with underwater single-celled creatures who act in unison to destroy humanity.
  • In the video game Mass Effect (2007), a galactic race known as the Quarians created a race of humanoid machines known as the Geth which worked as a swarm intelligence in order to avoid restrictions on true-AI. However the Geth obtained a shared sentience through the combined processing power of every geth unit.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Flocks, Herds, and Schools