Ask A Genius 442 – Intelligence and Minimal Feedback Systems (1)
November 13, 2018
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How does a principle of persistence and a base feedback with the environment imply a level of intelligence?
Rick Rosner: You can argue the information content or the amount of information in the model of the environment and the repertoire of responses, the flexibility of responses, can be an index of how smart the organism is.
You have to distinguish between things that are purely mechanical reproductions of the environment. You can have a glass lens. It can show an inverted or distorted image, or a focum or more focused image, depending, of the environment.
But that is not modeling the environment. It is simply a purely mechanical manipulation of rays of light. There is an index. It should be possible to assign a value to the amount of information held within consciousness. Max Tegmark, maybe, has attempted to do that.
I don’t think entirely successfully. You can intuitively index that. Humans have a highly developed and multifaceted understanding of the outside world as a model within consciousness, which is replicated in many ways within consciousness.
Higher mammals, including dogs, have less sophisticated models. As you work your way, we down the ladder – we have talked about this – of mental development. You have models of the environment that are less and less detailed or less and less encompassing.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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