Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

Generality Of Intelligence?


It is amazing to note that intelligence is not something general. A person who is "intelligent" in a big city, normally is not "intelligent" in a jungle. Conversely, a person who is normally "intelligent" in a jungle, is often not "intelligent" in a big city. We are here talking about the previously defined concept of intelligence: the ability to reach one's objectives.

Even apart from the environment that the system is adapted to, the sensors and actuators of the system have a big influence on the type of "intelligence" it can display. Biologists generally concede that the dolphin has a better brain than a human. It is bigger both absolutely and also in relation to its host's body weight. It also has more gray matter surface. But even so, dolphins do not show our type of intelligence.
Consider this: Suppose we could implant a just born human brain into the place of the brain of a just born dolphin. This brain would learn within a dolphin society. It would have dolphin actuators such as a snout and fins. What human intelligence could this brain show?
Obviously, it would be able to show none. It could not speak since it does not have our vocal apparatus and had not learned our way of communicating. It could not make tools, since a snout and fins are poor actuators for tool making. It would not even think as we do, since all its experiences are within water, through dolphin senses, and in the company of other dolphins. Such a being would not have a human intelligence and possibly also a relatively poor dolphin intelligence.

Thus, we can see that intelligence is the result of learning. The IS learns from a specific environment using its characteristic senses and acting with a specific body.


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Last Edited 12 July 2012 / Walter Fritz
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