Intelligence As a Property

Now here is something I am wholeheartedly agree with:

Since long before Erwin Schrödinger’s seminal 1944 work, “What Is Life?”, physicists have aspired to rigorously define the characteristics that distinguish some matter as living and other matter as not. However, the analogous task of identifying the universally distinguishing physical properties of intelligence has remained largely underappreciated.

Based on recent discoveries, I have now come to suspect that the reason for this lack of progress in physically defining intelligence is due to the entire scientific concept of treating intelligence as a static property—rather than a dynamical process—being ready for retirement.

In particular, recent results have shown that an extremely rudimentary physical process called causal entropic forcing is able to replicate model versions of signature cognitive adaptive behaviors seen previously only in humans and certain non-human animal intelligence tests. These findings collectively suggest that a variety of key characteristics associated with human intelligence, including upright walking, tool use, and social cooperation, should instead be viewed as side effects of a deeper dynamical process that attempts to maximize future freedom of action. This freedom-maximizing process can only be meaningfully said to exist over an extended time period, and as such, is not a static property.

It’s time we retired studying intelligence as a property.


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