I noticed something odd recently while going over some material on Artificial intelligence. The odd thing was mainly the fact that apparently no one knew what they were trying to model. That's right, in the entire field of artificial intelligence, no one actually knows what the fudgecake intelligence actually is. Naturally one would think this to be a rather inconvenient and potentially disastrous thing, but we need to remind ourselfs who these are: scientists. And I think we all agree that something like the abscence of a clear view of things has so far not impaired science in the slightest. A good example of this was explainig why frogs twitch after you kill them and zap them with a current. The explanation was dead wrong, but it's always good to have an excuse to zap frogs.
However this got me thinking. You see, obviously it would mean a lot to mankind and the field of artificial intelligence if someone would actually explain what intelligence is. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "PmI should know this stuff. let's have a guide!". Well, you're halfway there. I mean, I do know this stuff. But the second part tells me that...
You Don't Know Shit About Intelligence
Really, let's face it. If the scientist don't know, you don't know either. The reason I do is because I'm not you. I'm PmI. I hold the answers.
"So what is intelligence?" I hear you ask. Good question, and fairly easily answered, with the help of a few household items, a gerbil, and the Andes mountain ranges. (If Chili doesn't give you permission to use them, tell them it's for scientific purposes).
There are actually two kinds of intelligence. The first is like your basic simple version of intelligence. Sort of the 'lite' or 'shareware' version. Everyone and everything can use it. "Intelligence Lite" is just the ability of a system to stay as it is. That means the Andes is doing a pretty good job at it, and timmy, our friendly experimental gerbil in his cage nucking away on betsy the not quite so friendly but opposite gendered gerbil, is doing the same. They're both excellent at staying respectively a giant lunk of rock, and a gerbil.
Fantastic, so far so good.
Now, Intelligent Pro is where it gets funky. The more advanced form of intelligence, it is only really installable in living systems. Clearly the Andes isn't alive, whereas Timmy the wonder gerbil is. "Prove it!" I hear you scream in a voice that is usually reserved for making the mercedes of the local neighbourhood twit fire up it's polyphonic alarm system. Excellent idea. Let's forgo theory and learn by example. The first experiment will require the following items:
- 1 (one) slab of Andes (a regular rock will do in a pinch)
- 1 (one) timmy the wonder gerbil
- 1 (one) decently large, empty, room
- 1 (one) industrial circular saw, capable of cutting rock
Set up our system as in figure one:
______________________ |\_____________________|\ | | ______ | | | | | |\ | | | | | C |\| \|/ \ | | |------| R / / | | | | |\ / | | |______|\ | | | | \\| \\| | | |______________________| | \ ______________\| figure 1: (R) room - top view (C) circular saw
This experiment is a fairly simple one:
It is to demonstrate that a rock is not running on Intelligence Pro, whereas Timmy the wonder gerbil is. Place the slab of Andes on the saw table and turn on the machine. This will make a lot of noise and take a few second to spin up the saw and warm up the machine. Once the "Just a minute" light turns off, hit "party" and push the slab of Andes over the manifestation of rotating death. watch it be cleaved in half and be partially pulvarised into a few zillion bits of sand and assorted TinyBits. It's no longer a really a slab of Andes. its two chunks of slab and a bag of rock dust really...
To be honest, that wasn't very intelligent of the slab.
So let's repeat this process only this time with Timmy the wonder gerbil. Cool off the machine, place Timmy on the table, and run through the warm-up sequence again. Now before we continue we can already determine that Timmy is running on Intelligence Pro. Unless you closed the door, Timmy should no longer actually BE in the room. (However, not to worry, Timmy -will- get it before this ydks is over)
This is the advantage of Intelligence Pro.
It makes you stay alive.
Now, granted, the Andes doesn't seem very alive, but what's living anyway? It's being able to roughly stay the way you are (slight modifications allowed), and you have to admit that usually the Andes is a lot better at that than you are. Where you have to avoid cars, make sure you stop beering when your eyes start to cross, dodge bullets when you're mooning a navy training patrol, and try not to die of a veneral disease that you caught at the thai massage parlor (No really, it's legal. They're all over 18. They said so themselves), the Andes just sits there and is equally, if not more, successful.
(I know it might be a shock to learn you're putting up more of a fight than a boring mountain range, and what's worse, you're losing too, but don't worry about it. In 100 years you'll be very much dead, the Andes will still be there, and too bad for the Andes, it lacks the ability to gloat. So you're safe.)
So we defined Intelligence. It consists of two things, namely a lite version that everything's running, and a pro version that everything that's alive is running. However is this enough to explain all of intelligence?
Why wouldn't it be?
Think about it. What the unwashed masses usually call intelligence has nothing to do with intelligence at all, it's about being smart. Now I can see your eyes forming that characteristic 'wtf' expression, and your body language is telling me that you don't believe me. Aside from this being a critical mistake, it's understandable (though not very intelligent).
See, you can be very intelligent but just not very smart. On the other hand, you could have an IQ of 40 yet be a smartass criminal and be very successful. It's all in the words. Intelligence is how good you are at roughly staying yourself, through the total of everything that you do. Timmy for instance is pretty intelligent because by fleeing the room, he won't be cut in half. I'm being intelligent right now by explaining this whole thing to you because it means I can turn the additional exposure this ydks will lead to into a powerful aphrodisiac and get me some more thai pleasure. On the other hand, timmy wasn't very smart because it's a well known fact that gerbils are natural talents at sabotaging hightech equipment and he should have just done that instead. I'm not being very smart writing this ydks because it means you can just pass it off as your own opinion and get the skirt I could have otherwise gotten.
It's all relative.
Which brings us to the second experiment of the day. We affirmed intelligence. We haven't affirmed life yet. Again we will use the help offered us by Chili and "Sander's Handsome Furry Critter Palace". We will need:
- 1 (one) slab of Andes
- 1 (one) Timmy the wonder gerbil
- 2 (two) Japanese 12" deba knives. (see figure 2)
____ /--------------------|--|_____________________________________________________________ /....\ | | |__ / / | . . | \--------------------|--| | _____________________________________________/ / / | . . | | / / \____/ |_______________________________________________/ / | | figure 2: deba knife |________________________________________________/ | / |/ (side view) (back view)
Now, to affirm the difference between Life Lite, and and Life Pro.
Again, it is clear that everything is alive under the installed Life Lite version.
Place the Andes on your table, and put Timmy on top of it.
Both items will stay the Andes and Timmy respectively. They are very much alive and exerting Intelligence Lite while being so. The Andes is still the Andes, and Timmy is, albeit slightly worried, still Timmy.
Now to prove that Life Pro is only installed on Timmy.
Put Timmy back in his cage a moment and Strike the slab of Andes with the knife with all your might.
This should have resulted in the knife being pretty much no longer usable. In the best case possible, it will have broken and lodged itself in a rather painful position between the 3rd and 4th left rib in your torso, driving home the point we will make using Timmy later on, but for now it suffices to say that the Andes is still living and operating on Life Lite quite comfortably. Your puny knife hurts it not.
Now let's take out Timmy again. If you had Timmy observing the whole ordeal, it should be scared stiff by now which makes it easier to demonstrate the transience that is life. Ah cruel fate that begets the destruction of furry critters, but such is the nature of Life Pro.
Place timmy on the slab (it's not going anywhere, so we might as well use it for something) and strike Timmy with the second deba knife. There are a few observable effects:
a) Timmy is no longer Timmy, but two pieces of what was a few seconds ago, Timmy.
b) The Andes is still operating on Life Life
c) With some luck, this deba knife also broke and has lodged itself in the right side of your torso.
We can observe that Timmy was operating on Life Pro, because he is no longer alive. Life Pro is comparable to most modern inventions. While the ancient version (Life Lite, Writing on paper, raw mammoth) is pretty hard to destroy, the newer version (Life Pro, Office 2003 running on Longhorn, Souffle) is pretty easy to completely and utterly terminate. This begs a question: What's the point then?
Again, an excellent question! (Even though I had to raise it, I'm going to lie about it and say you did instead, so you can feel good about yourself. If anyone tries to verify that you in fact did not, I'll lie to them so they'll think you asked it as well, just because that's the nice kind of guy I am)
You see, there's no point to Life Pro. It's an upgrade that's still around because it's so damn hard to remove in it's entirety. It has intelligence Pro as a side-effect, but really that's nothing to be impressed with. It just makes it harder to remove.
So let's sum up.
Life Life: installed on everything
Intelligence Lite: comes with Life Lite.
Life Pro: installed on living things.
Intelligence Pro: seems to come with Life Pro.
This would be enough to have those Artificial intelligence guys just give up, but there's one more thing we can do, and that's prove that there is no such thing as artificial intelligence, by experimentally proving that 'artificial' is impossible.
For this experiment you will need:
- The Andes
- 1 (one) Buster, the wonder gerbil (v2)
- 1 (one) Knut, the wonder lynx (costs a bit more than a regular cat, but doesn't try to undo the fabric of the universe)
- 1 (one) quadzilla running your OS of choice
- 1 (one) Japanese 12" deba knife.
- a room with a door. (that's closable)
Let's get started:
1 - Take the Andes. I think we'll all agree that this is a good example of something that's running Life Lite, and is very much a natural thing.
2 - Take Buster, the wonder gerbil, and place him in a room so he doesn't escape. Again, this is a very natural thing, Buster is running on Life Pro.
3 - Take Knut and place in the same room as Buster. While the grim melee that follows is not actually meant to prove anything other than the nature of Lynxes in general, it is very funny to watch. This aside, we're still looking at naturally alive things. (Well except Buster, which should at some point be more of a lunch than a live)
4 - Take the quadzilla. Obviously it's running on Life Lite, because everything's running on Life Lite. Turn it on. Play with it a bit. Render a movie of a NURBS model of Knut chasing a NURBS model of Buster. Works quite nice, seems very artificial. Now take the deba knife. Open up the quadzilla, and stab it a few times.
What do we notice?
The Quadzilla has died rather spectacularly. If administered properly, it tried to take you down with it by releasing a nice amount of amperes and volts and fusing the deba knife to it's innards. IT MUST HAVE BEEN RUNNING LIFE PRO!
That's right, the quadzilla was already NATURALLY alive. It's not hard to imagine, or prove, that any other computer will do the exact same thing when placed in the contexts of this experiment. Therefore it is fairly easy to deduce the following:
Computers run on Life Pro, which is a rather natural thing
If something is natural, it is not artificial.
Let's apply logics here. Mainly we're concerned with Modus Ponens, which is a fancy way of saying "D'uh" in latin and implies "we have P, we know the rule 'if P, then Q' so because we have P, we also have Q".
We have P (computers are natural), we know that "if p then q" (if something is natural, it's not artificial),
so Q must be the case: computers are not artificial.
So much for the entire field of artificial intelligence: It doesn't exist!
Remember, you heard it here first.
I recommend changing the title to "natural intelligence", then noticing it's a silly title and just making it a subfield of Biology. That way the female student count will increase drastically, we'll see much more enjoyment when doing computing sciences, and the world will be a place with more parties, beer, and women. (now where's that "maritime research" fraternity....)
My name is PmI, your mentor in Life (pro) and remember:
You Don't Know Shit About Intelligence.