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    Thread: What is Intelligence?

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      What is Intelligence?

      Please define intelligence.
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      ability to analyse, fastly, logically, the big picture of different things and make the right decision in the right time
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      I wondered about this once, and as I tend to do I first looked for other uses of the word for a clue. In the military intelligence means the gathering, storage and transmission of relevant information so it can be studied and used effectively. I think the exact same definition applies here.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      I wondered about this once, and as I tend to do I first looked for other uses of the word for a clue. In the military intelligence means the gathering, storage and transmission of relevant information so it can be studied and used effectively. I think the exact same definition applies here.
      Would that make DNA a form of intelligence?

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      I would say intelligence is being able to store and process data in a specific manner. As that I would call, lifeforms, DNA as well as computers a form of intelligence.
      Being more intelligent means to be better at processing information. It might be more fitting though to describe subcomponents like DNA or processors of a "sentient lifeform" something different like logic level though.
      It just depends too much on how I see it for the moment to get to a conclusion.
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      If information is in the form of words, then DNA would be sentences. Not intelligence or intelligent, but rather a medium in which information is encoded and stored.

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      How do you distinguish a medium through which information is stored (and also utilized for action) and intelligence in itself?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      If information is in the form of words, then DNA would be sentences. Not intelligence or intelligent, but rather a medium in which information is encoded and stored.
      Well yeah, but did you ever see sentences rewrite or copy themselves according to the situation?
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      Intelligence is the ability to comprehend the connections between things. Artificial intelligence is (as of now) out of our reach because we can tell a computer:

      A) Rain makes you wet
      B) Being wet is Bad
      C) An umbrella keeps you dry

      With this information the computer will never think to actually use the umbrella to keep itself dry in the rain. You would have to tell it straightforward to Use an umbrella when it is raining. This is because computers are unintelligent and cannot make the connection themselves.

      On the human side, making connections within subjects, between seemingly unrelated subjects, between subjects and ones life (and so on and so forth,) is intelligence. The more connections you comprehend, the more intelligent you are.
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      The ability to recognize patterns and solve problems.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Invader View Post
      The ability to recognize patterns and solve problems.
      Natural Selection is a form of Guess and Check problem solving, could you agree? How does an intelligent being solve problems? There is definitely a functioning logical system capable of making connections but this is really just another tool that's been naturally selected. It's not the only tool, we also come complete with an imagination function allowing us to test ideas out and follow them to their logical conclusions. But is this system, in itself, intelligence?
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 10-05-2011 at 06:57 AM.

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      Sorry, I should have clarified. This is still based on how I understand intelligence and may not reflect the view of others:

      Problem solving, when being done without prior knowledge of how to solve that problem, occurs when knowledge is being applied based on recognized patterns in the given information and can also include novel applications of prior knowledge. By this I mean that you can have two scenarios in which a problem is being solved. Problem A is one in which the method for solving is known but depends first on understanding the kind of problem it is (pattern recognition) such that this particular method can be applied. Problem B is one in which the method for solving is unknown, but based on the given information, relevant knowledge can be applied such that a novel method can be obtained.

      Natural selection is a process that involves neither the recognition of patterns nor the application of knowledge to arrive at a solution. "Guess and Check" problem solving is a method that arrives at a solution by consequence of "random" behavior. That said, it is not what I would consider indicative of intelligence.

      but this is really just another tool that's been naturally selected
      Can you explain how that is significant?
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      As with many things, we have trouble defining intelligence because the word is based on an idea we get. A feeling we get when we meet different people, that they are on different levels mentally. We can define boundaries, but there are going to be exceptions, and we're going to find problems with any specific boundaries we set.

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      Quote Originally Posted by RebelSeven View Post
      On the human side, making connections within subjects, between seemingly unrelated subjects, between subjects and ones life (and so on and so forth,) is intelligence. The more connections you comprehend, the more intelligent you are.
      Basically this.

      It's being able to understand concepts and link those concepts, even though they may seem unrelated.

      I see no difference between intelligence and creativity. As I define them in the same way.

      Creativity is the same thing, except actually applying those connections you have made in to some form.
      Whereas people usually think intelligence is just a high aptitude for figuring out those connections, helping you learn new things much more easily.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Invader View Post
      Can you explain how that is significant?
      I'm just trying to piece this abstract concept together into something more definable. Your response was as valid as any other, I suppose.

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      Quote Originally Posted by RebelSeven View Post
      Intelligence is the ability to comprehend the connections between things. Artificial intelligence is (as of now) out of our reach because we can tell a computer:

      A) Rain makes you wet
      B) Being wet is Bad
      C) An umbrella keeps you dry

      With this information the computer will never think to actually use the umbrella to keep itself dry in the rain. You would have to tell it straightforward to Use an umbrella when it is raining. This is because computers are unintelligent and cannot make the connection themselves.
      >Implying intelligence is inherent in something

      If that was all the information available to a human, they would not be able to make the connection either.
      Intelligence is about being able to learn. If you give something input and the ability to store and manipulate information to react to its input, intelligence is when it can learn from its mistakes. Assuming its environment can allow it to make mistakes.

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      Intelligence in standard English context refers to the individual's capacity to process information in any situation and deduce logical explanations and/or a response to said situation.

      I don't see any motive for stretching a definition of a word any farther than I just did, as people have done before me. This thread asked a simple language question, and It has been answered.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dreams4free View Post
      Intelligence in standard English context refers to the individual's capacity to process information in any situation and deduce logical explanations and/or a response to said situation.

      I don't see any motive for stretching a definition of a word any farther than I just did, as people have done before me. This thread asked a simple language question, and It has been answered.
      Because that definition encompasses things which are not considered intelligence.

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      The ability to consciously gather and interpret information, and relate it to a multitude of other "things", scenarios, past experiences, and hypotheticals.

      The "consciously" part is important in my definition, as a computer can gather and use information for a variety of things, but a computer without sentience/consciousness is simply a processing machine. Whatever is "intelligent" must be consciously aware that it is processing the information.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ThePreserver View Post
      The ability to consciously gather and interpret information, and relate it to a multitude of other "things", scenarios, past experiences, and hypotheticals.

      The "consciously" part is important in my definition, as a computer can gather and use information for a variety of things, but a computer without sentience/consciousness is simply a processing machine. Whatever is "intelligent" must be consciously aware that it is processing the information.
      We cannot with any degree of certainty assert that other humans are capable of conscious subjective experience so how can you deduce that computers are not conscious?

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      Quote Originally Posted by stormcrow View Post
      We cannot with any degree of certainty assert that other humans are capable of conscious subjective experience so how can you deduce that computers are not conscious?
      I can't be 100% certain that computers are not conscious, but for the time being it's highly unlikely.

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      Dionysian stormcrow's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ThePreserver View Post
      I can't be 100% certain that computers are not conscious, but for the time being it's highly unlikely.
      I agree. My point wasn't so much to say that "because we cant with certainty deduce that computers are conscious therefore they are conscious." but what I mean is humans are not the ultimate measure of who is and who is not conscious, keep in mind that many cultures believed animals to be automaton because we could not place ourselves in their subjective experience. I do not know many people today who still believe animals cannot possess subjective qualities like the capacity to feel pain, emotions, etc. Likewise we cannot place ourselves in the subjective experience of another human being.

      When I prick someone with a needle and they cry out in pain, I do not feel their pain but judging from their response I can infer that they do experience pain because I react in a similar manner when I am pricked with a needle. But the skeptic in me says there is a possibility that they were programmed to respond in that manner similar to a computer when its output of information is determined by the input. Of course I do actually believe that there are "other minds" and treat humans and animals accordingly but I have to be skeptical about that which I cannot experience (namely someones else subjective experience). KookyInc shares a similar view which he has discussed in other threads as well.

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      It's all about patterns, pattern recognition and pattern manipulation. It's why those people who never do their work or study can get B's on everything.
      "For a long time it gave me nightmares, having to witness an injustice like that. It was a constant reminder of how unfair this world can be, I can still hear them taunting him. 'Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!'... How come they just couldn't give him some cereal?"

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      You can train a dog to recognize patterns, as long as the patterns relate directly to getting fed. You can also program a computer to recognize patterns.

      And as Stormcrow said, consciousness cannot be used as a necessary quality because it's impossible to define what has it and what doesn't since it's innately subjective.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Yes but the dog cannot manipulate them of his own free will that's the key, putting the patterns into action (there could be a genius who never shows it and you would never know), also patterns is the closest word to what I'm going for but maybe not exactly it. That's pretty much all of my useful (I hope) input, so I will stop now thanks for reading.
      "For a long time it gave me nightmares, having to witness an injustice like that. It was a constant reminder of how unfair this world can be, I can still hear them taunting him. 'Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!'... How come they just couldn't give him some cereal?"

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