What is Intelligence?

Posted on Posted in Artificial Intelligence

Hey my friends, this is the article 82 / 1000! For those who don’t know me, my name is Selim Chehimi and I’m an engineering student. I’ve been programming for 7 years now so you can tell that I really enjoy that. Those 7 years of programming lead me to Artificial Intelligence. My dream is to build an AI Startup so that’s the reason why I’m sharing this article with you. I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.


What’s up guys, I hope that you’re doing well. I am still trying to make these Articles daily, it requires so much dedication, consistency, and discipline but I will keep at it no matter what. (boom) Today, we’re going to talk about intelligence – what is intelligence? That’s a good question, although a little bit complex, right? I wanted to write about intelligence because I thought that it was decent since Artificial Intelligence obviously implies intelligence. Anyways, let’s begin with a simple statement that I found on a YouTube video (check the sources below): “Intelligence is what makes you achieve your goals in a complex and unpredictable environment”.  Intelligence is what separates us from other species: humans can settle goal and motive to achieve them. Nowadays, we’re talking a lot about Artificial Intelligence, but are these AI systems intelligent? Not at all. In fact, the clear majority of AI systems at this moment are Narrow AI which means they have only one specific goal (that they do very well, that’s not the question). These AI are not intelligent because intelligence means not a single capability but a bunch of them (i.e. different capabilities).

The word itself goes back to a Latin word which means “understand”. However, I want to specify that we’re talking about an understanding of a complex sort. As you can imagine, intelligence is extremely hard to define. In psychology and neuroscience, no one really talks about intelligence because it brings up so much different topics. However, even if we can’t define it, humans know a lot about this concept, we can feel it: “We know it when we see it”. Nonetheless, I’ve looked for some definitions of intelligence – the results are as follows.

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tseu defines it as “the ability to understand each other”. (As a result, empathy is also a kind of intelligence) I’ve also seen some definitions of intelligence as the ability to adapt. I prefer this one because I firmly believe that the ability to embrace change and to adapt is a tremendous form of intelligence. Humans are hardwired to change, we can adapt to almost everything.

Alan Turing said that the process of thinking is mysterious, but by trying to understand it, we would learn a lot about how we think. Complex functions of the brain are understood every day. As you can imagine, that’s good news for AI because we must solve intelligence first to create an AI from which we could benefit. In fact, we don’t have to “replicate ourselves” to create a human-level AI, we “only” have to understand intelligence and intelligent behaviors.

To conclude this Article, here are some decent questions related to intelligence and AI:

  • Is AI an evolution of our own intelligence?
  • How will interactions between AI and humans affect us?
  • Will AI replace/enhance our cognitive abilities?

I will probably answer these questions in other articles so stay tuned. For the last one, we must be sure that AI makes us smarter and not dumber. (Just saying…)


Thanks so much for reading, that’s the end of Article 82. Please, share it and don’t forget to follow me on social media. You can also subscribe to my newsletter below to never miss any article. Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think of this Article in the comments and stay tuned for another one tomorrow!

Sources

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