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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 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.

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  • (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.