I'm Hofstadter's huge fan, therefore I use to look at ants as sub-symbolic living metaphors, without any real will except that of the colony. From the collective behaviour, smoothed by evolution, emerges a sharp intelligence.
Still, looking at such a stunning demonstration of cooperation, I have hard time considering them like empty shells that simply react to external stimulus. That's a fascinating change of level: do ants know about the strategies they're carrying on? and the colony, is it aware?