Thursday, August 13, 2009

INTELLIGENCE, Revisited and re-posted.

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Braintenance: INTELLIGENCE (AI, The Mind, The Computer)

Dear Friends:

I hope that this brief missive finds you well. You'll need to get your energy together to give some serious thought to this question: "What is the definition of intelligence?"

It is a difficult question. How do we know when we've achieved a point of singularity with AI (Artificial Intelligence), if we don't exactly know what Human intelligence is? Scientists may well be busying themselves with trying to duplicate the superficial appearance or effect of intelligence without knowing its defining parameters and "cause". By way of example, you could cover a turd in a Snickers wrapper, and while there would certainly be a superficial resemblance, from the standpoint of function (and taste), you would not quite have duplicated the celebrated Snickers.

Knowledge is a body of information which one possesses.

Recall is the ability to summon the memory of that knowledge at will.

Generalization is the ability to recognize similarities between two separate sets of facts, or circumstances. In its most simplistic form, this is merely pattern recognition. If you are able to react appropriately to the pattern that you have recognized ("adaptation"), you have an important survival skill.

But what, exactly is intelligence? Is it a massive collection of minute but specific variables that, in composite, make us "smart" or "not so smart"? This is a big question. To read an interesting blog on AI and singularity, read my colleague Bruce Klein's blog which is attached to his company's website at . The information there is fascinating.

Another question: Does the ability to form faster generalizations and react to them accordingly make us more intelligent? And, while we're confusing each other, how do artistic, literary and other "talents" factor into intelligence? Are these an alternative form of intelligence? Are these gifts an extra bonus above and beyond intellectual capacity? If you are a better problem-solver, does that mean that you are more intelligent than a philosopher who poses brilliant questions, or who presents imaginative hypotheses or possible explanations? Is the ability to ask the right questions as important as the ability to know how to solve problems in a given set of circumstances?

I don't know. Please advise me of your opinions regarding these issues. the way, can a man or woman program a machine to actually be more intelligent than he or she (the programmer) is? It seems somehow paradoxical. But then, I've met children who are far brighter than their parents.


Douglas Castle

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Keywords: AI, analogy, Braintenance, generalization, intelligence, IQ, knowledge, novamente, pattern recognition, problem-solving, recall, singularity, who is Douglas Castle anyway...

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