Sharks and fishes

Note: This demo needs Java

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My interests in distributed intelligence and emergent behaviour caused me to write this simple Starlogo program (and about 50 variants on it, dealing with topics as diverse as supply chain dynamics and stock trading psychology).

Each of the Sharks (red) and the Fish (yellow) has only a few internal rules. The interaction of these simple rules causes all sorts of apparently intelligent behaviour. The sharks, for example, can be seen to split up into subgroups to “herd” the Fish. Occasionally an individual Fish will appear to taunt the Sharks to attack it – a decoy from the larger shoal.

These “smart” behaviours make me wonder if human intelligence is nothing more than the interaction of a marginally larger number of simple rules.