RE: intelligence

From: Colin Hales (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 14:32:17 MST

- Ben Goertzel wrote
> I prefer
> "Intelligence:
> The ability to achieve a variety of complex goals."
> or
> "Intelligence:
> The ability to achieve a variety of complex goals in complex
> environments."

In my definitions, 'measureability' was not really considered. It was more
of a personal observation in the absense of any useful dictionary definition
(2 included below). In terms of an AI I suppose objectivity & measureability
is important, so I may include the above in my definition if that's OK with
you. This material is going into a book/journal and eventually it will be
scrutinised by someone. It is an interesting problem in AI to define a
standard against which an AI may be 'calibrated'.

Eventually I hope to have a sliding scale of consciousness and sentience
defined, so that an AI can be tailored to suit it's application. If I was an
intelligent agent deployed to monitor a tank farm in Siberia, I wouldn't
really want to be overly conscious or have an innappropriate set of goals.
I don't know yet, but I suspect there are one or two 'connectivities' (most
likely the inclusion of 'self' modelling) that will make it a
non-linear/threshold scale, and create a focal point for ethicists.


Pronunciation: (in-tel'i-juns), [key]
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of
mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts,
meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and
3. the faculty of understanding.
4. knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news;
5. the gathering or distribution of information, esp. secret information.
6. Govt.
a. information about an enemy or a potential enemy.
b. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
c. an organization or agency engaged in gathering such information: military
intelligence; naval intelligence.
7. interchange of information: They have been maintaining intelligence with
foreign agents for years.
8. Christian Science.a fundamental attribute of God, or infinite Mind.
9. (often cap.) an intelligent being or spirit, esp. an incorporeal one, as
an angel.

Pronunciation: in-'te-l&-j&n(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin intelligentia,
from intelligent-, intelligens intelligent
Date: 14th century
1 a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying
situations : REASON; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to
apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as
measured by objective criteria (as tests) b Christian Science : the basic
eternal quality of divine Mind c : mental acuteness : SHREWDNESS
2 a : an intelligent entity; especially : ANGEL b : intelligent minds or
mind <cosmic intelligence>
3 : the act of understanding : COMPREHENSION
4 a : INFORMATION, NEWS b : information concerning an enemy or possible
enemy or an area; also : an agency engaged in obtaining such information
5 : the ability to perform computer functions

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