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What starlings have to teach us about the wisdom of crowds

If you, like me, have been throwing up your hands in frustration at the current political morass, you might find solace in the study of birds

By Cal Flyn   December 2019

Collective intelligence of birds is of great interest to those working in AI. Illustrate: Kate Hazell

Every evening, as dusk soaks the sky, the starlings have been murmurating. They take to the air in small groups at first—moving as one, in quick, lively movements—before these droplets inevitably coalesce into a larger, liquid flock that flows through the sky, stretching apart then rebounding, undulant, pulsating. They do it every night, but every time it catches me unawares: a thousand tiny bodies coming together as one, each bird a point in…

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