Life Sciences

Intelligence in Animals and Machines

Module code: C1118
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

The module will develop your understanding of what it means for an animal or a machine to behave intelligently, and how brain and behavioural systems are adapted to enable an animal to cope effectively within its environment. You will consider diverse aspects of intelligence, including navigation and motor control, numerical, language, memory and social skills. You will explore how these are related to one another and how they are matched to the particular needs of animals and machines.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meanings of the term intelligence, and an ability to critically evaluate experimental data and theoretical concepts in the field.
  • Synthesise research in animal cognition and the engineering of artificial intelligence and argue how these disciplines might inform one another
  • Present written and verbal accounts of specific aspects of the module subject matter based on independent reading of the primary scientific and engineering literature.
  • Independently evaluate descriptions of animal behaviour in terms of necessary intelligence and plausible evolutionary antecedents.