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Give Zebrafish Some Booze and They Stop Fearing Robots

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the valuable-life-advice dept.

Robotics 58

Zothecula writes "With some help from a robotic fish, scientists have discovered that zebrafish are much like humans in at least one way – they get reckless when they get drunk. OK, 'drunk' might not be technically accurate, but when exposed to alcohol, the fish show no fear of a robotic version of one of their natural predators, the Indian leaf fish. When they're "sober," they avoid the thing like crazy. The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies."

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LOL (4, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44461793)

Slashdot headline of the century...

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461891)

I DEFY you to use that sentence in casual conversation! Do it! Do it!

Re:LOL (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44462023)

give ME some booze and I'll stop fearing freaky cross mutated mammal/fish beasts!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462041)

I DEFY you to use that sentence in casual conversation! Do it! Do it!

Who do you think you are, Samsung? [slashdot.org]

Re:LOL (5, Funny)

Rhacman (1528815) | about a year ago | (#44462033)

Such an awkward sentence, almost like a coded message or perhaps even a kill-phrase to someth

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44464369)

Oh, god, my next super-secret underground movement will use Slashdot headlines for passing secret messages, and steganographic techniques to hide acknowledgement in Frosty Piss posts.

Re:LOL (1)

Vreejack (68778) | about a year ago | (#44462207)

A robot?! Here, hold my beer and watch this.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462471)

Best english-language phrase ever!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462985)

A fish and a robot... ha... here's one they never thought about.. getting drunk helps to forget about the thing that lives under the bed. It's a fact that when not exposed to alcohol the fear of that thing increases.

Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44461799)

Where I come from, a 1/2 stick of dynamite in the middle of the pond and they all float on the surface, sleeping like koalas in the noon day sun...

Re:Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44461843)

sleeping like koalas

The aquatic version of a dirt-nap?

Re:Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44461875)

sleeping like koalas

The aquatic version of a dirt-nap?

a wetnap?

Re:Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462107)

an airnap.
Duh, their floating at the top.

Re:Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44462199)

That term's already in use; it refers to a sanitary napkin that needs to be changed...

Re:Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker? (1, Funny)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year ago | (#44463551)

I have a rare condition, Crohn's disease, which required emergency removal of most of my colon. I therefore have little room for normal bowel evacuation storage - it sometimes presents with an unpleasant urgency.

As it was, I found myself in the Australian outback (Kiwiville, though I doubt the Aussies would claim it), and having urges that I ignored as long as possible.

Upon returning to the mainland, as soon as I saw some brush, I announced my intention to "acquaint myself with the local herbiculture". Those among my party took my meaning - and those otherwise not did not. That was my intent of course.

I shat on a bush, to make a long story short. And my options as far as bathroom tissue were concerned included:

1) A very large, and ivy-looking, leaf
2) A very large, and lethal-looking, spider
3) My pants. While not an option, I should mention that these were not an option. American pants or British pants, they were not an option. I would like to appear in public as if I had not shat myself.
4) A baby koala, who seemed to notice my excrement the way I would that of a neutron, which is to say nearly not at all.

I must confess at this point, that there now lies in Australia, a, if you will, "sanitary napkin", whose fur should be cleansed, if not thoroughly exchanged.

Mad Libs (2)

hedgemage (934558) | about a year ago | (#44461805)

I wonder if people come up with these research projects by going to a party and then asking for a) the name of an animal, b) a noun, and c) a liquid.

Re:Mad Libs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462377)

I highly doubt it, because b and c would have a high number of instances of sexual references if mad libs are done in a party setting.

What... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461813)

"The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies."

Wouldn't drugging the subjects of the study invalidate any data collected about their behavior?

Re:What... (5, Informative)

Black LED (1957016) | about a year ago | (#44463363)

It should invalidate this study. Alcohol is toxic to fish, so they most likely didn't lose their fear, they were probably just extremely sick. When fish get sick, they tend to not move much and ignore most of their surroundings.

I have had to euthanize a few of my old, terminally ill zebra danios before. The method I use is to put the sick fish into a small container and add a little bit of clove oil, which causes them to become lethargic and go into sleep mode. Afterward, alcohol is added, vodka or whatever, and the fish never wakes up.

Re:What... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44466283)

"Afterward, alcohol is added, vodka or whatever, and the fish never wakes up."

What a waste of perfectly good alcohol. I use the woosh method. Toss 'em in the toilet and WOOSH! Afterwards I have a toast to their memory with some alcohol.

Re:What... (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about a year ago | (#44466369)

It only requires a very small amount, perhaps a tablespoon in a small container of water, and I usually have a shot "with" the dearly departed. I could never be so cruel as to flush one of my fish and have them suffer even more, which defeats the purpose of putting them down. I love all of my pets, even my fish.

Re:What... (1)

betterprimate (2679747) | about a year ago | (#44467325)

The method I use is to put the sick fish into a small container and add a little bit of clove oil, which causes them to become lethargic and go into sleep mode. Afterward, alcohol is added, vodka or whatever,

Now I am hungry.

Re:What... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about a year ago | (#44463375)

I wonder if the robot fish will be dispensing the alcohol. An aquatic version of bender [youtube.com] ?

In related news ... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44461815)

... SkyNet invests in liquor distribution businesses.

Re: In related news ... (1)

mcohrs (1044844) | about a year ago | (#44462073)

Or is it NDA invests in alcohol production?

Re: In related news ... (1)

mcohrs (1044844) | about a year ago | (#44462125)

Or is that NSA?

LOL!!! (1, Interesting)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44461829)

The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies.

The lesson here is clear: simply inebriate (or medicate) the populace and our nature aversion to robots that are too lifelike becomes a thing of the past. Voila; "uncanny valley" problem solved! :p

Re:LOL!!! (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44461929)

The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies.

The lesson here is clear: simply inebriate (or medicate) the populace and our nature aversion to robots that are too lifelike becomes a thing of the past. Voila; "uncanny valley" problem solved! :p

Hey, it works for fat chicks...

Re: it works for fat chicks. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461981)

No. That's the moped effect. They're fun to ride as long as no one sees you.

Re: it works for fat chicks. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44462173)

No. That's the moped effect. They're fun to ride as long as no one sees you.

A sack of flour comes in handy...

Re: it works for fat chicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463311)

Except the sight of a moped has never made me want to vomit, not even Vespas.

Re:LOL!!! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44461937)

I dunno. I was pretty wasted the last time I watched Polar Express, and I still found it pretty unwatchable.

Re:LOL!!! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44462217)

It doesn't work with the evening news, either...

Re:LOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462387)

I don't really have an aversion to robots to begin with. What a primitive way of thinking...

more reckless, or better able to detect patterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461885)

The patterns that indicate the robot fish is not real may be more noticable when drunk.
When I'm on LSD I can notice nonstandard frequencies of flicker in video and lighting.
Mess with the brain's frequency and 'noise' that we usually ignore becomes obvious.
Perhaps the fish aren't scared because now they're able to notice the robotic movement has a slightly different pattern than natural movement.

Re:more reckless, or better able to detect pattern (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#44462177)

Alcohol is a depressant. Unlike LSD, it has a history of promoting unsafe and stupid actions in a high percentage of human users. Again, mostly unlike LSD, even people who are highly experienced, stick to reputable sources, have used alcohol regularly and are familiar with its general effects, and consume it only with organized social safety nets in place to protect them from the worst risks, may still have medical problems relating to alcohol, and there is evidence for some of these problems never, ever getting better once they develop. In fact, there are several side effects of alcohol known to persist for the abuser's entire life (see: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Alcohol'ism' (apparently, from the word construction, this is a religious or philosophical belief in the divinity of alcohol, how bizarre), and Liver-looks-like-someone-stuck-a-fork-in-itosis). Other alcohol related problems may be treatable or curable, but often only at great expense (see: marriage, paternity). In fact, the only reasons I would not recommend LSD to most adults is that it may have some small chances of triggering a few of the same problems alcohol produces so much more often, plus some of them look really stupid driving down the interstate at four miles an hour talking to polka-dot Cthulhu.

Alcoholism (2)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44462553)

"Alcohol'ism' (apparently, from the word construction, this is a religious or philosophical belief in the divinity of alcohol, how bizarre)"

It's actually the religious doctrine that says that the creator made (at least some, possibly all) people in such a way that a single drink of anything alcoholic will inevitably lead to alcohol abuse and self-destruction which they are completely powerless to stop. Adherents consider each day they manage to go sober a miracle - and also, unsurprisingly, often fall off the wagon and validate the other side of their belief as well.

See also "Twelve Steps to Hell."

Re: more reckless, or better able to detect patter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463135)

+1 to what he said

Re:more reckless, or better able to detect pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463331)

Uh no. You only *think* you can notice more things. That's because you're intoxicated.

The Conversation (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44461905)

Zebrafish to robot leaf fish: "Shoo ain't sho tuff! C'mon, come get yershelf shome of thish! Aahl kik yer ash, er, tail!"

Seriously, how is "booze lowers inhibition" newsworthy? The fact that it's as true for fish as it is for mammals?

For the sake of science! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461913)

"The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies."

And the future of alcohol studies. In fact, let me participate in a study right now.

"Future in behavioral studies" (1)

foma84 (2079302) | about a year ago | (#44461961)

Yeah, so we'll have lots of useless data on how animals behave when on booze.
"Do orangos prefer Brandy over Whiskey?"
"If you were a dog, what brand of beer would you choose?"

We could even have reality shows about how our zebrafish is doing in her withdrawal comunity!

... promising future for robots... wait, what? (3, Informative)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#44461987)

The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies.

Wait, what? I was sure the moral of the story was gonna be a new Prohibition for our fishy friends.

Jealous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461991)

Sounds like an awesome internship.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462111)

That works for me too.

Maybe they were just blinded... (5, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about a year ago | (#44462235)

I did not RTFA (this is Slashdot you insensitive clod) but maybe the poor Zebrafish were just blinded by all the booze and therefore couldn't see the threat, which is not a behavioral change at all.

Re:Maybe they were just blinded... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44463761)

Or perhaps the Alcohol stimualted their perceptual intelligence, so that when drunk, they realized the bots were not their predators, but some scientist's silly toys.

What's that old saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462277)

I'f you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he'll get that fish drunk and make it fight robots. or something like that...

The Russian mouse (3, Funny)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#44462483)

He gets drunk on vodka and says, "Bring on the cat!"

FTFY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462545)

The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising excuse to get DRUNK as FUCK.

About the researchers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463319)

I wonder what happens to their conclusions after they've had a little too much libation?

I for one *hic* welcome our new robotic overlordsh (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#44463879)

...

Bender says (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#44464263)

Give a robot some booze and I stop fearing zebrafish.

Effects Related To Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44464431)

Someone posted an article on slashdot a while back which showed that alcohol's effects are culturally dependent. The humans in some places become more quiet and reserved when drunk.

Okay, but ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year ago | (#44465039)

... that doesn't explain my dread of robotic bartenders.

More than coincidence? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#44466081)

Give me enough booze and I stop fearing robots too.

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