Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will make a mess.Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that primates left alone with a computer attacked the machine and failed to produce a single word."They pressed a lot of S's," researcher Mike Phillips said Friday.
The monkeys were coaxed into moving the robot arm to reach and grab a ball, incentivized with sips of sweet juice as a reward.
The robot prosthetic isn't directly connected to the monkey (a la Silicon Valley), but instead is linked to the computer that processes signals from the electrodes.
In fairness to the Paignton six, the letters A, J, L, and M crept in later.
Phillips denied the project was a disaster and told the BBC they had learned “an awful lot”.
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number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce prose the likes of Shakespeare.
When the signal for moving the limb is activated, the robot arm moves as well.
The electrodes measured the activity of the brain’s neurons to see how connected they were to one another before and after the training.
The £2,000 was spent on setting up a radio link to live stream the activities in the enclosure.“Compared to the cost of reality TV, this was a tiny pinch of money,” Phillips said.“It provided very stimulating and fascinating viewing.”Ultimately the monkeys may have fallen prey to the distractions which curse many novelists.
In their case, it was climbing frames, ropes and toys.