Born to do Math 191 – The Future of IQ: Its Relevance and Diminishment
November 1, 2020
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the future of the relevance of IQ, its diminishment?
Rick Rosner: IQ has only been around for a century. Binet came up with a 5-point scale for testing kids to see what educational resources they might need. 1s and 2s need help for dumb kids. 4s and 5s need help for smart kids.
Terman took it over and put it on the 100-point chronological ratio scale. You take your mental age divided by your calendar age times 100 is your IQ. Then it grew from there. It was fairly widely accepted. A lot of psychology, psychiatry, was pretty widely accepted in the U.S. from the ‘20s, and ‘60s/’70s.
Then everyone started questioning everything, including IQ. IQ, now, I think, is considered kind of quaint. People have tried to replace it with various other theories and indices, e.g., Emotional Quotient, multifactor models.
The whole thing has also been hampered by it just not being that handy a thing. Like, it’s falsely precise. Somebody who says they have a score of 143 isn’t going to be any different from someone who has an IQ of 138, 147 or 130.
As with the SAT, it doesn’t add. Adding somebody’s score on an IQ test to their academic or professional dossier doesn’t tell you much more than you could learn from the rest of the dossier or talking with them for half of an hour.
In a lot of instances, it is a minus. If someone who brings up their IQ, I think Hawking called people who bragging about their IQ is a loser. People who are culturally cognizant know that IQ has a stink of loser-dom about it.
It doesn’t mean that it is of zero value. Or you can’t have fun with it. I’ve obsessively taken IQ tests on and off for most of my life. So, I can brag in a sad way about my scores. But it is mostly useless. A couple of times, maybe, in my 20s, it helped get me laid.
But that is a really small window to try to jump through.
Rosner: And who you’re jumping onto, IQ is iffy. What replaces IQ, I feel, will be measures of information processing power based on more sophisticated models of how information processing in consciousness works, which we’ll, eventually, get to in a pretty precise way, we have 20 years of not being there, yet.
You could consider the various measures of calculating capacity associated with computers as a type of measurement of machine intelligence, but really shitty measures. Because, for the most part, machines are at the very beginning of machine learning and really don’t have that much intelligence.
They have specific task oriented intelligence. You could set up a machine learning program in a short amount of time make a computer the best Go player or the best video game player in the world. But it is still very specific.
Computers still can’t pass the Turing Test. So, measures of computational power are pretty bad indices for intelligence. Petaflops per second, the amount of floating point calculations per second doesn’t really tell you how smart a machine is.
But as we understand what intelligence is via mathematical models of consciousness, there should be original indices originating from that. Regardless of the indices, we should see people as – for the most part – not giving a shit about getting smarter in general.
I get emails from people about how to get smarter. I tell people. The best thing is read your ass off. Engage in the types of exercises that are parts of IQ tests, try to mathematicize things in your world, try to mathematically analyze aspects of your world. But not many people are interested in doing that in general.
People are more interested in making themselves more competitive in the specific endeavours for them. When I was writing jokes for late night, I was very interested in making myself a better joke writer because I was told that my jokes sucked. Others were, but I thought I was being told this more.
At various times, I’ve tried to increase my IQ. In my career I was more interested in becoming a better joke writer and maker. The idea of strategically becoming really good at certain applications or certain A.I. aided technologies to make yourself effectively smarter in ways that pertain to your work will happen more and more.
But that’ll be a thing that will happen. You could team up with A.I. to make yourself smarter in a specific field. For instance, doctors are notorious for, once they’re done with medical training, knowing what they know but not extending themselves to extend what they know.
If you get a disease, you can go on the internet, learn shit that your doctor may not know, because the doctor is treating people with the disease and may not be keeping up with what is being learned about people with the diseases.
Also, the doctor may be snotty about information and may poo-poo stuff you learn from the internet because it doesn’t come from a journal. Also, because there is such a high ratio of bullshit garbage to legitimate stuff that comes to you via the internet, most doctors still aren’t optimal about learning everything to learn in their field or, certainly, everything about medicine in general.
I could see apps arising, A.I.-based apps, that keep doctors better informed than they are now. The doctors who become really good at using those apps might be better doctors. I can see that happening in a lot of fields, e.g., the hard sciences.
The amount of information in the world doubles every year or so now. Apps that help plough through the best stuff would make anyone better at their job if their job involved staying up to date. That’s what I think the future of intelligence lies.
It is in human-A.I. alliances. Alliances is too lofty a word. Initially, humans just getting really good at using A.I. and A.I. getting better at being A.I. At first, it is a Google relationship, via a keyboard, via a thing that you yell at – like an Alexa.
In the future, things become creepier and more intimate. Alexa’s of the future become more like robot butlers. They become more people-like, on the one hand. On the other hand, people can become more intimately linked with A.I.
Google Glass didn’t work because it was too creepy. They would, certainly, be some optical-based interfaces coming, e.g., smart glasses that don’t piss people off as much as Google Glass, more wrist-based stuff.
I always imagine some A.I. being worn as a little breastplate. In this novel that I am working on, you’ve got what I call bubs. Your basic handheld device, but they ride you, e.g., on your shoulder. If you need them, they crawl down your shoulder and go, “Hey, pal.” Wearables; it is increasingly pervasive and intimate A.I.
That’s where intelligence is going. Where it already is to some extent, it is hard to tell. Our apps have made us so obviously into idiots. That it is easy to miss where they’ve made us smarter. With the example I always use being Waize, nobody has to get lost driving anymore.
Getting lost is a weird thing if you’re in a car made after 2011 now, or if you have a fucking phone, you may be driving like an asshole because you’re dividing attention between the driving app and driving.
You may have to drive an extra two miles if you get past a stop. But you’re not lost. It’ll get there, probably, before we have ways of measuring how good it is. People will get smarter in conjunction with A.I., then faster than how working with A.I. may be making us smarter.
That might not be a big deal. Because if you look at how helpful IQ isn’t, the new indices may not be that helpful either. The proof is in the pudding. Does it matter to Bill Gates’s $80 billion what his IQ is? No!
Steve Jobs’s IQ didn’t make him the Saint of Apple, nor did it stop him from being proactive about treating his cancer. The proof is in the fucking pudding and not in your score on a test.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
(Updated July 25, 2019)
*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*
According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing here, Rick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher Harding, Jason Betts, Paul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.
He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmys, The Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.
Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.
Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Founder, In-Sight Publishing
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