Home & Office

A Year Ago: Scientists give parrot a Web browser

African grey parrot Arthur has his own screen and mouse, and whiles away the hours surfing the Internet
Written by Will Knight, Contributor

Parrots can now browse the Internet courtesy of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

A four-year-old African grey parrot called Arthur has been given a specially adapted computer screen and mouse in order to surf the Internet.

The MIT scientists says that by clicking on the mouse the parrot can bring up the image of another African Grey parrot, an owl, his owner, and a car.

The scientists say the experiment is not just a gimmick. "What we're trying to do is to build a Web browser for parrots," Irene Pepperberg, one of the scientists involved and also Arthur's owner, tells New Scientist magazine.

African greys are believed to be among the most intelligent and communicative animals in the world and the MIT scientists hope that the experiments will determine just how smart they are.

What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Editorial standards