Can an octopus use a computer?

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by octopower, May 29, 2011.

  1. octopower

    octopower Larval Mass Registered

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    With the high intelligence an octopus displays, have any teams attempted some type of test to allow an octopus to use a computer? I realize there might be the need to design a button or control to allow the octopus the ability to interact with it. There must be a way to allow a touch screen (understood it must be waterproof) access for the octopus to interact. And for a simple test, I wondered if a team attempted something yet. I also understand the cost could be a factor, but for an initial touch test, has something been done yet?

    Any response would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you for your time!
     
  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    As most TONMOers know I am not a cephalopod expert myself - my job is to provide a good environment for ceph experts (and lovers like me) to get together and evolve. The said, just want to say that I think this is a great idea and I look forward to input from our resident experts! I've not heard of any attempts of this in my 11 years running this site (anniversary tomorrow! :mrgreen:).
     
  3. Terri

    Terri Sepia elegans Registered

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    A fine job you have done!

    :band:
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TONY!!
     
  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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  5. octopower

    octopower Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you for the kind words. Happy anniversary! It will be very interesting to know if any computer interactions with octopuses have been performed or planned. I will continue to research this information as well.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    The problem of course is associating actions with keyboard play. I could imagine that one could create a modified keyboard (start with say 4 keys) each with different associated behaviors. Key 1 releases some food, Key 2 toggles the tank light, etc.
     
  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    There are also questions about whether or not an octopus can see a screen properly!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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  9. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Agreed, but I'm not sure there HD computer screens out there.........course I've never looked either :grin: If they could be got, what an interesting experiment!
     
  10. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Just hook a computer to a tv via hdmi.
     
  11. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Orangutans can be trained to use a touchscreen, but you cannot use a touchscreen underwater. Touchscreens work by using conductance from fingertips.

    I don't know if an octopus would be able to get enough leverage underwater to press keys, either.

    Perhaps a box with levers would do it. Wrapping an arm around a lever is a much simpler task for an octopus, I think, than pushing an object.
     
  12. jaja

    jaja Larval Mass Registered

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    what sort of tasks would you have the octopus try to perform?
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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  14. The_Damped

    The_Damped Blue Ring Registered

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    HD is only a resolution specification. Why would that be specific for octopus to see? (My monitor is 1080p) Something is fishy about that. No pun intended :P
    I like the idea of the levers, that's clever!
    Cool product btw!
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Without going back an reading the article, I recall it had more to do with the frames per second that can be shown with HD rather than the resolution.
     
  16. The_Damped

    The_Damped Blue Ring Registered

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    You're right I wasn't paying enough attention to the article, it's the progressive scan they are asserting that it is responding to, not the HD. Makes a lot more sense. I've read some about the optic nerves of different creatures. From what I understand some are capable of seeing much "faster" than others. It's apparently a function of the amount of information being relayed compared to the robustness of the optic nerve traveling to the brain. I imagine their colorblindness really helps them out here. We see so much that we see quite "slowly", for example if you are in the US your power is AC 60 hz. Meaning that your incandescent lights are actually pulsating as a function of the voltage, so it should be about 120 times a second. I bet this would drive an octopus crazy! lol. Fluorescent lights flicker, (on off as opposed to a pulsation) at a much faster rate early in it's life and a much slower rate later in it's life.

    I wonder if an octopus would shy away less if you hooked up an incandescent to dc?
    Do the European folks around here report any difference with the octopuses shying away from incandescent light?

    trying to remember, I think LEDs always flicker but I think it's extremely fast. I know if you get an led with 3 diodes, rgb you can tell them flicker at varying speeds and get any color of light you want.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting extention of the original post. I wonder what kind of "flicker" natural sunlight on the waves produces and what lighting would most approach it. I have been thinking that my bimac and at least one other ocotpus may not light the lights on a particular tank. Strictly antecdotal thinking (I have only recently observed something that started me thinking this way so your post was timely) and noctural/crepusclar octos that have lived there gave no clue that the lights might have negative impact. More attention is needed to see if I can draw any conclusions.
     
  18. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    None, your thinking of a different kind of "Flicker". at least from a film and frames per second perspective, which seems to be the factor in octo vision.
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I was thinking about how the waves and clouds might also give a flickering affect (think passing cloud emulation) and not an actual flicker in the light source.
     

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