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posted by Dopefish on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the knowledge-is-power dept.
dyslexic writes "An Equation For Intelligence? It is something like the philosopher's stone. A sort of E=mc2 that would put intelligence, and more particularly artificial intelligence, on a sound theoretical footing. But could it be as simple as this TED talk video (available on the link in addition to the article) suggests? The video explains some of this and provides examples of the principle in action where it is claimed to replicate a number of "human-like" intelligent behaviors including cooperation and tool use."
 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:16AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:16AM (#5016) Journal

    Sorry for not playing along, but if you can't be bothered to summarize it I can't be bothers to actually address the issue.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kebes on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:21AM

    by kebes (1505) on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:21AM (#5032)
    I watched the video. The speaker's style is a bit monotone, some of the connections he draws seem unfounded (even having a pseudo-scientific "I can explain everything!" flair about them), and his equation is ultimately not grounded in anything physical (so not really useful). So, I don't really recommend watching the video.

    Nevertheless, he has some interesting ideas; and what he's proposing is at least a testable hypothesis. At the end, he summarizes his hypothesis as:

    Intelligence should be viewed as a physical process that tries to maximize future freedom of action and avoid constraints in its own future.

    He gives various examples of how intelligent behaviour often involves taking actions that maximize future options: good game-playing strategies (for humans and computers) often involve maximizing options and avoiding boxing oneself in, intelligent species make longterm plans to avoid death (the ultimate lack of options), social connectivity can be thought of in terms of maximizing options, etc.

    I find it unlikely that this single idea will fully explain all aspects of intelligence. But it may well be a crucial component, or at least a valuable way to frame the problem.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:34AM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:34AM (#5033) Homepage

      To add to your skepticism, it sounds like an oversimplification of an all-encompassing and nebulous subject from a monotonous nerd's perspective, referring to the narrow case of board games and using thermodynamics and information theory as inspiration. The irony is that he says that intelligence and maximizing options go hand-in-hand, while he is explaining using few options with his narrow point of view. What would you say about somebody who was intelligent but set in their ways and didn't like being presented with options?

      Kinda like Freud, who was one smart motherfucker but (in my opinion) had a tendency to project his own psyche a little too much into what was also a complex and nebulous subject.

       

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:35PM (#5165)

        Freud made fictitious case histories. There is no science to back up anything he ever wrote. It was an injustice the way that schizophrenia was blamed on bad mothering and women were made to feel guilty for their child's mental illness. You can't say that no one knew any better - biological psychiatrists certainly did know better for a long time. Freud was a charlatan.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by istartedi on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:51AM

    by istartedi (123) on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:51AM (#5036) Journal

    But, but... It's a TED talk! All the best
    people are there and the charts and graphs are
    so delicious to look at. Also, each and every
    talk revolutionizes the way you think and the
    world you live in. By the time you get out, you
    won't know what to think or where you are. It's
    the thinking man's weed.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Jerry Smith on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:30AM

      by Jerry Smith (379) on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:30AM (#5110) Journal

      Also, each and every talk revolutionizes the way you think and the world you live in. By the time you get out, you won't know what to think or where you are.

      Oh man, I hear you. Several of my students are complete fans of these talks and BECAUSE it's a ted talk it must be true, otherwise it would not be a ted talk. They absolutely stop thinking for themselves once the video starts. Pointing out flaws or straight out lies are considered to 'spoil it'.
      I can't be bothered to watch them myself, and proper transcripts somehow aren't there. No, subtitles don't count.

      --
      All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by WildWombat on Sunday February 23 2014, @02:48AM

    by WildWombat (1428) on Sunday February 23 2014, @02:48AM (#5049)

    Its a rare occurrence when I watch a video of that type, summary or not. In general I feel that if you have an idea you want to convey, write an essay. I can read your essay in way less time than it will take to watch your video. If you really need to convey some visual information, use some pictures. I know everyone learns differently and that videos may be great for some people but I almost completely ignore video as a format for intellectual discussion. Its just inefficient time wise.

    Cheers,
    -ww

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Sunday February 23 2014, @11:18AM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Sunday February 23 2014, @11:18AM (#5148) Homepage

      Oh, I always watch TED talks that are linked to. Just to confirm my opinion that they're self-indulgent fatuous nonsense.

      This guy likens himself to Einstein and Feynmann.

      Best about that is that he likens the importance of his equation to Einstein's E=mc^2. He seems to be overlooking that there's no such equation. Einstein came up with E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2. The variable p term later got merged in with the constant m, and created a variable ("relativistic") m. Einstein was horrified by this modification, and denied its validity. Sure, the short equation is punchier, but why sacrifice correctness for space?

      So he's likening his equation to a misleading misattribution.

      I guess he did that to maximise his future choices...

      --
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