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Dance-like Behaviour in Chimpanzees Linked with Human Evolution: Study

Human dancing skills evolved from chimpanzees

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Chimpanzees
Scientists have found that a duo dance-like behaviour in chimpanzees is linked with human evolution. Pixabay

Researchers have found two chimpanzees performed a duo dance-like behaviour, similar to a human conga-line.

According to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found the levels of motoric coordination, synchrony and rhythm between the two female chimpanzees housed in a zoo in the US, matched the levels shown by orchestra players performing the same musical piece.

Other species have been shown to be able to entertain by moving to the pace of a rhythmic tempo by an external stimulus and solo individuals, however, this is the first time it hasn’t been triggered by nonhuman partners or signals, the study said.

“Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world’s cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure, said Adriano Lameira, from the University of Warwick in the US.

Chimpanzees human evolution
This behaviour in chimpanzees forces scientists interested in the evolution of human dance to consider new conditions. Pixabay

Dance requires individuals to interactively synchronize their whole-body tempo to their partner’s, with near-perfect precision, this explains why no dance forms were present amongst nonhuman primates,” Lameira said.

According to the researchers, critically, this is evidence for conjoined full-body rhythmic entrainment in great apes that could help reconstruct possible proto-stages of human dance is still lacking.

Although the newly described behaviour probably represents a new form a stereotypy in captivity in this great ape species, the behaviour forces scientists interested in the evolution of human dance to consider new conditions that may have catalysed the emergence of one of human’s most exuberant and richest forms of expression.

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The researchers report an endogenously-effected case of ritualised dance-like behaviour between two captive chimpanzees – synchronized bipedalism.

By studying videos they revealed that synchronisation between individuals was non-random, predictable, phase concordant, maintained with instantaneous centi-second precision and jointly regulated, with individuals also taking turns as ‘pace-makers’, said the researchers. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Funds Six AI-based Projects in India

Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers

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Google
Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers. Pixabay

Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation.

Google Research India will provide each team with funding and computational resources in addition to supporting the efforts with expertise in computer vision, natural language processing, and other deep learning techniques, the company said in a statement.

“We are increasingly seeing people apply AI to address big challenges. Therefore, we have made research in AI for Social Good one of the key focus areas of Google Research India — the AI lab we started in Bengaluru last year in September,” said Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Team, India.

Among the six projects are improving health information for high HIV/AIDS risk communities from team from IIT Delhi led by Tavpritesh Sethi, team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham and nonprofit Swasti.

Researchers from IIT Madras led by Balaraman Ravindran and nonprofit Armman will use AI to predict the risk of expectant mothers dropping out of healthcare programmes, to improve targeted interventions and increase positive healthcare outcomes for mothers and their babies.

The team from Singapore Management University led by Arunesh Sinha and nonprofit Khushibaby will apply AI to help ensure consistency in how healthcare information is captured and monitored.

Another team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham along with nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Trust will use AI to predict human-wildlife conflict in the state of Maharashtra to help inform data-driven policy making.

The team of Nanyang Technology University led by Bo An and nonprofit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & The Environment will apply AI to inform dam and barrage water releases, to help build early warning systems that minimise risk of disasters.

Google
Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation. Pixabay

The last team from AI4Bharat and IIT Madras led by Mitesh Khapra and Pratyush Kumar along with nonprofit Storyweaver will build open-source input tools for underserved Indian languages to accelerate publishing of openly licensed content.

“We look forward to supporting academic researchers, organisations and the broader community over the coming months and years to bring these projects to life,” said Milind Tambe, Director, AI for Social Good, Google Research Team, India.

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Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google’s global network of researchers. (IANS)