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What are the limits of intelligence?

by fourier jr
Tags: intelligence, limits
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fourier jr
#1
Oct9-04, 10:30 PM
P: 948
What are the limits of intelligence, both artificial and human?
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Kerrie
#2
Oct9-04, 10:31 PM
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will power, or a desire to understand.
omin
#3
Oct11-04, 08:14 PM
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A quote I remember:

"Life is strange", said Jeremy.

"Compared to what?", said the spider.

cragwolf
#4
Oct12-04, 04:57 PM
P: 210
What are the limits of intelligence?

Quote Quote by fourier jr
What are the limits of intelligence, both artificial and human?
Nobody knows. Perhaps the brightest among us are close to these limits. Perhaps not.
hypnagogue
#5
Oct12-04, 05:52 PM
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Can you give us a better idea of what you mean by 'intelligence'? What constitutes the limit of an intelligence? Do you mean to ask about currently existing or practical limits or do you mean to ask about theoretical limits?
brandon.irwin
#6
Oct12-04, 08:30 PM
P: 17
For people, it probably has a lot to do with the the brain's "cache" used to hold many ideas at a time then bring them all together to come to a conclusion.

For a more philosophical answer, I think intelligence would have to be defined first. Is intelligence the recollection of knowledge? Of course not, if so, then a hard drive would be intelligent. So, intelligence must be the ability to create and bring ideas together...to make connections between things where direct connections don't exist. Right now, this seems to be the only difference between computers and humans. Computers can find similarities between things, but only when those similarities directly exist. Such as a green frog and grass...both are green and alive. We can make connections that don't exist through direct observation...we can ask questions, then find answers to those abstract questions, relating things by using something beyond physical observation.

I think to achieve AI, we must first create a way for computers to seek questions. From my observations, this is also a large factor in human intelligence. Some are good at solving problems, some are good at creating problems. Usually it seems to be one or the other. In my case, I am good at solving problems, but not very good at finding the problems. If you look throughout history at people who made big discoveries, many did so on accident, or with inspiration from observing. So, maybe incredible intelligence would come from a noisy mind...one that could create it's own reality or "noise" to create inspiration without necessarily having to use the senses. By doing this, someone will truly be able to think "outside the box". Gives a little more insight to the phrase, "There is a thin line between genius and insanity."
Kerrie
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Oct12-04, 09:18 PM
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So, intelligence must be the ability to create and bring ideas together...to make connections between things where direct connections don't exist
an ability that requires some will power...not all of course, because an individual is wired to some extent with what they have. the old saying, "Practice makes perfect" is so cliche, yet so true. intelligence ecompasses more then academics...you have the arts, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and even physical intelligence. anyone believing they cannot learn certain skills because they are not intelligent enough is already limiting themselves because of their lack of will.
Tom McCurdy
#8
Oct12-04, 09:25 PM
P: 1,113
Does it even matter

In all likely hood humans will never reach their limit of intelligence (if there is one) before they are wiped out for whatever reason.
Microburst
#9
Oct12-04, 11:36 PM
P: 68
I think limits change as we evolve, intelligence is relative not a constant. Limits for AI is bound by the hardware and software available today, but tomorrow is another story. Some people say,.. well,... there'z only so many transistors you can put on a silicone wafer, but thatís just technology for today tomorrow we might use biological matter to construct our CPUs and program them with human brain like cognitive process, I think thatís what makes life so interesting, you discover things and your ideas change, along with your limits.
Zantra
#10
Oct13-04, 02:07 AM
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If we survive through this technological infantcy I have no doubt we will continue to evolve. I believe we haven't yet reached our peak. I think we will continue to evolve to keep up with the curve, and so will our technology continually evolve. There may be no limits- at least none that we could concieve. Curiosity drives and seperates us, and so it will continue to drive us to learn and grow. That is the curve of human intelligence.
Kerrie
#11
Oct13-04, 09:55 AM
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Quote Quote by Zantra
If we survive through this technological infantcy I have no doubt we will continue to evolve. I believe we haven't yet reached our peak. I think we will continue to evolve to keep up with the curve, and so will our technology continually evolve. There may be no limits- at least none that we could concieve. Curiosity drives and seperates us, and so it will continue to drive us to learn and grow. That is the curve of human intelligence.
I think you are referring to the culmination of knowledge rather then ability to comprehend and apply the knowledge.
Blissfulpain
#12
Oct13-04, 10:01 AM
P: n/a
http://www.singinst.org/

all of your questions can be found here. it defines intelligence and defines the expected limits of intelligence.. in fact it even tells you the current limits of human intelligence. and they're looking for singulartarian prgammers to boot... shame i can't program :(
Zantra
#13
Oct13-04, 10:09 AM
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Quote Quote by Kerrie
I think you are referring to the culmination of knowledge rather then ability to comprehend and apply the knowledge.
No, I'm saying that I believe intelligence is relatative, and that our raw intelligence has increase from what it was over the millenia to accomodate the increase demands on our brain. I takes a more advanced mind to handle life nowadays than it took at the dawn of man. As the flow of sensory input and knowledge to our brains increases over the eons, so must the speed at which we digest that information. Think of cromagnum man in today's society. He would have a lot harder time adjusting to life here, then a life of hunting and gathering. It's just a possibility to consider.
Blissfulpain
#14
Oct13-04, 10:31 AM
P: n/a
is that a cromagnum raised from birth in this time or transported after a certain portion of his life in his own time period... cuz if it's the latter then bloody well of course he'd have a tough time adjsuting :)
if the former.. then i don't know.. depends on brain stuctures and other such things.
hypnagogue
#15
Oct13-04, 03:14 PM
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Someone needs to establish a mutually accepted definition or explanation of intelligence here. Between Kerrie mentioning physical intelligence, Zantra saying something about relative intelligence, etc... are we even on the same page here? It seems likely that we're not. Fourier, would you care to clarify what you meant by 'intelligence'?
fourier jr
#16
Oct15-04, 01:57 PM
P: 948
how about:
"the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations"
or
"the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly"

(from www.m-w.com)

I wonder what a human being's capacity to learn or understand is, or a human's capacity to deal with new or trying situations is, etc etc Same with a machine/computer, I guess, if we take artificial intelligence to be "the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior"
babsyco
#17
Oct30-04, 09:34 AM
P: 20
I'm sorry, but don't think that saying the limit of inteligence is relative to the system capability sheds any light on the question, it merely changes it to 'what is the most capable system possible'. Stephen Pinker in his book 'How The Mind Works' defines intelligence as 'the ability to attain goals in the face of obstacles by means of decisions based on rational (truth obeying) rules' (pg 62). In this sense, I think the limit to intelligence is to be able to comprehend ALL factors that cause an event (or obstacle), so that the system can overcome it. For example, intelligence for our ancestors was advantageous because it meant that if they saw a fellow man try to take an animal carcass from a lion and get killed in the process, they would conclude that the lion saw them try to take it, didn't want to lose it, so it simply killed the man. Were they much (MUCH) stupider, we would conclude that trying to take the animal carcass meant they would die. This incomplete reasoning would mean that they could starve to death, because they failed to comprehend that a huge factor was whether or not the lion was watching. Were they of our level of intelligence, they would recognize this fact and probably try to distract the lion then take his lunch. Were they much (MUCH) smarter than us they may realize that killing a frog 10 years ago would chain react to result in the scenario of them sitting comfortably eating a fresh carcass in the future (assuming that it is mathematically possible calculate that chain of events, which I believe it is).

So being able to comprehend factors in an event means that a system will have a greater ability to manipulate it to achieve objectives. So how great a comprehension can a system have of events? I think total. A total understanding of the mathematical formula that our universe abides by. Of course the uncertainty principle tells us that at a fundamental level the formula may actually be based on probability, meaning that there will be some randomness in the formula, but how much randomness is there in the physical world we live in? Very VERY little, if any. Obviously roulette is not random, it only reflects our inadequate knowledge of the event. If we could know the weight, velocity, composition, shape, etc, of all the physical components involved one probably could predict where the ball would land, just like Max from Dark Angel can (laugh). Brian Green says in his book the Elegant Universe that uncertainty principle means that we can't rule out the possibility that someone could walk straight through a solid wall and emerge on the other side unharmed, but the chances of it happening are so small that even if the person attempted it every second since the birth of the universe, chances are it would not have happened. Pretty solid odds.

So we can rely on the underlying formula of the universe to a pretty large degree to derive the cause and effect of events, and again, this means that (I believe) the highest possible level of intelligence is to be able to completely comprehend the formula of the universe, so that the intelligent system can manipulate events and objects (or Pinkers 'Obstacles') in the most efficient way to achieve its goals. I do agree with Brandon.Irwin in that intelligence has something to do with making connections, but I don't think creating connections is the most intelligent way to do it, as opposed to deriving them from a rational (truth obeying) set of rules as Pinker says. I assume you mean by 'noisy mind' a mind that in some way creates data and connections not based on any input, but a noisy mind is an inefficient mind, because some or most of what it postulates is untrue. It reminds of an episode of King Of the Hill where Boomhower manages to pick up by going to a shoe store and propositioning every woman: his rationale being that one at least is bound to say yes, and he does manage to score, despite all the 'noise' (failed attempts), but a more efficient and reliable way would be for him to develop some rational set of rules that would allow him to predict who will say yes and who will say no. The next step would be to understand why, so that he can manipulate and overcome the obstacles of his goal to finally score with much less effort and degredation.So a better way to make connections than to randomly (noisily) produce them (some of which will probably be true) is to derive them from logical truthful principles.

As for those who say that they think we will continue to evolve, what obstacles in our modern life are there that random mutation (the engineer of evolution) will overcome, resulting in a greater number of offspring? In the past being better off in ones environment due to inherent genetic traits meant that you would have a greater number of offspring, they would out perform the less advantaged and eventually outnumber them, resulting in evolution, but even it someone was born with double the IQ of Steven Hawking, they would be inherently advantaged but they would NOT have more offspring and would not be a force in natural selection. Stupid people don't have less offspring than smart people, so the human race may never evolve to be more intelligent, and I think using the progress of our technology and saying things like 'it takes a more advanced mind to handle life nowadays than it took at the dawn of man' to predict that our intelligence will continue to evolve as it has in the past is false, Zantra. Ask yourself, how would you fare in the world of the cromagnum man? Our world is no more demanding for our brains than it was millenia ago, what do you have to support this? technology? Just because we have jumbo jets now and 200 years ago they had horse and carts, that mean that either is a reflection of the intelligence of the people or demands of each time? Of course not.

Of course I can not say that evolution has stagnated, but I do think it has slowed down a hell of a lot, due to the fact that we no longer have more offspring if we are genetically advantaged. It is no longer a world based on natural selection for us. All qualities of people have around have the same amount of offspring. However I should point out, that this may mean that while the whole race may not change in the same direction, perhaps the effect of all having equal numbers of offspring could result in more genetic mutations living to fight another day, meaning that in the future mutations of the human genome that may have been wiped out in the past will actually survive, resulting in a much more diverse race, as the amount of mutations amongst a race is of course proportional to its population, not the demands placed on it by its environment. Another thing to note is whether or not certain cultures have more offspring. Of course all this is speculation, but there is no reason to think that we as a race in general will evolve to be more intelligent, because as I said intelligence doesn't mean that the person will have more children than less intelligent people.

It's a great question fourier jr, but I just realized that if you meant is the limit of HUMAN intelligence, or human intelligence now, most of what I said is probably irrelevent. However, what is human intelligence as opposed to intelligence in general? Oh well, I still enjoyed writing it.I would love feedback and criticism of my remarks, so please post any disagreement you have. A great book on intelligence is Sephen Pinkers 'How The Mind Works', especially chapter 3, 'Revenge of The Nerds'. He talks about whether intelligence would necessarily evolve amongst life on another planet, and surprisingly and convincingly concludes NO, although I think there is more to be said than he addresses. For now I can't be bothered going into it, but if anyone would like to discuss this prospect please post a reply, I would love to talk. If anyone has any good books of sites of anything they can recommend me, I would also really appreciate it.

Thanks, Babsyco.
babsyco
#18
Oct30-04, 09:36 AM
P: 20
Sorry, didn't mean to post that twice. The second one is only different in the last paragragh. I didn't realize how much I'd written. Thank you very much if you actually take the time to read it, I appreciate it.


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