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  • Writer's picturePeter McAllister

What has green blood, multiple hearts, a huge brain and can pass cognitive tests for humans?

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

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Of course the answer is obvious – the cuttlefish - the cephalopod that lives in oceans around the world, whose body parts have been used for making metals for eons and some people chose to eat them. It could also be Spock - except he only has 1 heart - just in a different place.

So why am I talking about this?

It is probably the closest thing we have to an alien intelligence on earth – such a vastly different organism. Its blood is green because copper is at the heart of the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood – not iron like us. As they communicate by colour, they have been recorded saying different things to different peers at the same time.

Now they have shown that they can ignore one type of food for a period on the expectation something better would come along. It has been shown in dogs and some primates before - including small children using marshmallows (I would guess a cat just wouldn’t bother).

So why am I still talking about this?

Because we are finding “intelligence” in places we never expected, hence never looked. In some people there is biblical view, where man was given dominion over the animals. In the past we have laso looked at groups of humans as not having intelligence – slaves were one example, along with women in the western world before the suffragettes. But we are slowly adding species: dolphins, monkeys, gorillas, dogs and now cuttlefish.

As our expansion of what we think is intelligence grows (and perhaps changes the way we treat it), how long before we have an AI that we treat with the respect we do other intelligent creatures?

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