Commonly, or at least during my short life, I have felt a concern around the concept of Artificial Intelligence and its real meaning. Clearly, this is a notion that can seem quite loud, quaint, and even exacerbated. With the very mention of this idea, we immediately believe that we are traversing a dystopian world of cyborgs and flying cars.

But the truth is that, by looking for a specific definition of the term, we can establish that it is the computer’s ability to perform cognitive tasks that we associate with the human mind. That is, it is the ability to argue, solve problems independently and even the ability of perception is included.

This is how artificial intelligence has made it possible to make certain human behaviors tangible through neural models, thus getting closer to human notions regarding how we perceive the world. Along these lines, AI as a resource puts us in search of some way to objectify knowledge, generate correlations and allow detecting opportunities, all from an anthropocentric perspective.

But where are the rest of the species that make up this very biodiverse world? Is it possible to connect with them?

We exist on a planet with enormous biodiversity, where 80% of living beings are plants. Unfortunately, we know that humanity has contributed to the loss of 83% of wild mammals and half of plant species. Although in recent years it seems that sustainability has begun to be part of the collective mind, we are still a long way from repairing this damage.

It is clear that human beings have endowed themselves with a true superiority complex, but the truth is that we currently represent only a 0.01% of the living population of planet Earth. However, today the role and efforts of our technology continue to be biased and derived from this human gaze, without valuing the interspecies perception that should guide these advances.

So, what if we direct our efforts to listen to and process each other’s rich content through these neural models? Would it be possible to train a bio hybrid model?

Clearly we are facing an ambitious scenario, but it is also necessary given the critical global context in which we find ourselves. Although the difficulty is high, our mission should be the coexistence between organisms in order to regenerate and recover the lost biodiversity, a responsibility that, until today, continues to be ignored.

From very early on, we are taught that plants are “vegetable” beings. Currently, this term is used with a rather negative connotation in terms of the ability to understand and perceive the world. But what the vast majority of people do not know is that plants have a great capacity to connect, understand and adapt to the environment. Is their trajectory throughout the planet’s existence a mere coincidence?

This is where artificial intelligence comes into the equation, since scientific studies have shown similarities between the human neural communication and the electrochemical communication that plants perform.

Communicating is vital to every living being: it allows us to avoid danger, to accumulate experience, to know our own body and the environment. Is there any reason why this simple mechanism should be denied to plants?

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Despite the fact that the trajectory of plants on this planet has demonstrated their perceptual capacity, which has an impact on significant adaptability throughout their existence, technology has been biased by wanting to exacerbate human perception. Instead of generating a more transversal understanding and allowing ourselves to be nurtured by other species, we insist on separating ourselves from the rest of the world as if we were the only living beings capable of communicating and impacting the ecosystem.

It may seem that nature and technology are isolated areas, but the reality is that they have tremendous potential to coexist, potential reflected in trends such as biomimicry.

But where does artificial intelligence fit into this whole equation? 

Let’s take a step back, and remember the ability of artificial intelligence to model, build and train different models based on data. This data feeds this model and perfects it. The same happens when it comes to learning a new language. A language is a way of communicating, and if we break it down even more, simplifying what communication is, we can define it as an information transference from a sender to a receiver.

Based on this premise, it is possible to understand our relationship with the environment, both ours and with other species, as a form of communication. A few years ago, many did not believe or imagine the rapid growth of artificial intelligence and its applications. Today, it could be the key to understanding and being able to connect with other organisms, particularly plants.

With their senses, plants gather information about their environment and orient themselves in the world. Plants are able to measure dozens of different parameters and process a great many data.

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Artificial intelligence could well be a means of communication between different species, all in order to understand the realities of each one and enrich our knowledge. It has the potential to establish associations and patterns of different electrophysiological responses of plants, laying the foundations for a more complete understanding between both species.

AI, as a technology, offers us the possibility of going further to close the communication gaps that we maintain with other species on the planet. This mission, although late, could allow us to heal, to some extent, part of the debt and damage that we have caused on the planet in the name of progress.