Pour la Science n°543 – January 2023 – Neurons and algorithms: universal laws of intelligence?

In this issue

Is artificial intelligence getting closer to human intelligence? It is a shortcut to consider performance in a particular game as an indicator of intelligence. Some mathematicians prefer to focus on the dynamics of artificial neural networks that make up artificial intelligences, and are convinced that “there are fundamental mathematical principles underlying intelligent behavior observed on a more symbolic or logical scale. “Laws of intelligence” in the form of mathematical models that relate to both brain activity and artificial networks. Many researchers at the intersection of neuroscience and computer science have set out to find the principles that could form the common algorithmic basis of human and artificial intelligence.



How the Black Death Shaped Our Immunity

The Black Death exerted a very strong selection pressure on the human species, ensuring the selection of a protective gene against this deadly disease. This same gene increases our susceptibility to autoimmune diseases today.

William Rowe-Pirra


Biodiversity: drivers of decline

Like 15e The United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15), the protection of ecosystems seems increasingly urgent. How to act effectively? A moment with Nicolas Titeux, co-author of a meta-analysis comparing the relative importance of drivers of global biodiversity loss.

Interview with Pierre Giraudeau

Geological sciences

An ocean drowned by retreating glaciers

At the end of the last ice age, melting glaciers would have stimulated volcanic activity, creating a highly oxygen-depleted zone in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

Pierre Giraudeau


An unexpected metal in the atmosphere of an ultra-hot exoplanet

Barium is an element 2.5 times heavier than iron. It’s hard to imagine this metal being swirled by winds in an exoplanet’s upper atmosphere. This is what a group of researchers discovered by accident.

Pierre Giraudeau


Genetics clarifies the composition of Neanderthal clans

Analysis of the genes of eleven individuals from the Chagyrskaya cave in Siberia once again suggests that Neanderthals lived in highly inbred communities of no more than thirty people.

Francois Savatier


To the written sources of the Basque language

The handwriting “Irulegi’s hand” began to reveal its secrets.

Francois Savatier


Genetically modified white blood cells to attack tumors

A clinical trial has shown that it is possible to reach solid tumors with genetically adapted immune cells. A pioneer in the development of personalized cellular immunotherapies in oncology.

Noelle Guillon

animal biology

A synchronized ballet of modeled fireflies

Fireflies of the species Photinus carolinus they all flash together at the same rate. How do they do it? This phenomenon has just been put into Eqs.

Charlotte Mauger

Particle physics

The proton anomaly is confirmed

Theory predicts that the proton should deform less and less as the energy used to probe its components increases. But a new experiment shows that the situation may be even more complicated…

Evrard-Ouicem Eljaouhari


Plankton surfs the turbulence

Using a form of perception of water movements, plankton organisms will be able to navigate to reach the surface more quickly.

Sean Bailly


Will a tiny green alga overturn the origin of the plant kingdom?

An algal fossil dating to the Cambrian 541 million years ago has turned out to be related to green algae previously thought to have appeared 100 million years later. Something to shake the tree of life.

Isabelle Bellin


Do we hear when we are unconscious?

By analyzing how the brains of awake or anesthetized mice process sounds, a team discovered the cortical network of conscious auditory perception.

Benedict Salthun-Lassalle


The collective intelligence of the sheep arises from the rotation of the leaders

New modeling shows that a succession of disparate leaders in a flock of sheep creates a collective intelligence that leads to a kind of democratic consensus.

Pierre Giraudeau

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