B0ycey wrote:So to my topic, 'What is intelligence?' How do you define it? Are robots for example intelligent or just binary numbers following rules that an intelligent programmer has set out. A robot is accurate, but if a mistake occurs, it continues to execute the same mistake until corrected by a human so is this really a forum of intelligence or not? Then there are intellectual intelligence. Someone can do the most complex mathematical equations or write the perfect novel, but can they kick a ball or have any form of street smarts? Are people who are more the hunter-gather type less intelligent because they struggle to read and write but could provide for their families in a less civilized universe? This is more a philosophy thread so please give me your opinions on the matter. There are no wrong answers, just conflicting opinions. I enjoy reading them, even if I don't reply. But I still might lol.
I think this point of how a robot follows its programming to the point that it can't solve a novel problem or can adapt within very narrow limits is a point about how machines although they seem behaviorally complex today, they do not show actual thought characteristic of humans and intelligent animals.
To give a great example of the continuity of intelligence in apes and humans, Vygotsky' examined known work on apes by Wolfgang Kohler. He found that an ape would, unlike a dog, shift from erratic repetition of habitual behavior when confronted with a novel obstacle and seemingly pause to think. Its activity seems to shift from the external to the internal. Some apes were able to solve problems they never been confronted before by what was not a conditioned and trained response but clearly recognition of the structural problem.
They achieved the sudden insight or Aha moment which distinguishes the intellect in understanding from behavior that's developed from repetition because it is executed with accuracy from the get-go rather than after a protracted series of errors.
This is also why in education, the teacher traditionally guides a student through a problem because learning is about the comprehension of the problem, which then can be generalized to other similar scenarios or even ones that aren't as readily similar.
This problem solving is limited in the ape by its visual field, if the solution isn't in the same line of sight as the means of its solution, even the smart apes who solved novel problems are unable to do so.
Vygotsky asserts that children move from the sort of immediacy present in an Apes consciousness through the abstraction of language which allows planning and goal setting in a way that isn't strictly beholden to the immediacy of the situation, it is the first step to freedom from strict external influence.
Vygotsky also in an effort to distinguish the human intellect from the ape emphasizes the tool-making capacity of humans against the very narrow tool creation and use of apes such as using a stick to reach food which seems to be based in the conditioned connection of pulling branches to reach food.
Instead, humans are able to creatively adapt their world to create means to manipulate the external environment. Vygotsky also emphasizes how tools also become the basis for internal development. Such as a shift from raw episodic memory to mediating our recall through objects such as pieces of rope. Or the example he most enjoyed was the knot in a handkerchief.
We also have the advantage of appropriating the historical development of our ancestors understanding, we do not need to reinvent the wheel but are introduced to problems and their solutions already found in different fields of practice.
So I would emphasize that human intelligence isn't simply abstract knowledge, knowledge independent any practical application is not the knowledge of an object but pseudo-knowledge because how can one know something which isn't of a thing? This is clear with the student taught many phrases which they do not know how to apply in the concrete context. But this capacity for abstraction or theory is what allows us to develop greater understanding because knowledge also isn't simply doing, there has to be the comprehension of what one is doing. I like the example of individuals who produced oxygen but aren't the true discoverers of it because they did not acknowledge their discovery as a need gas, they tried to retain the novel facts of oxygen within old theories.
I would also emphasize against the robot is this capacity for creative problem-solving. This is the extremely unique capacity sought to be cultivated in students in response to automation because humans are universally adaptable rather than preprogrammed to narrow set of actions like a robot. This view is more akin to a mechanical materialist view of the body and doesn't comprehend the role of consciousness and hence the falseness of behaviorism which largely discounts any consideration of consciousness in mediating between physiology and behavior. This also explains how many people do not really think although they may know a lot of facts and so on, they do not strive to think through things they apply their accepted facts even as those facts don't fit. These are not people who can deal with the new as they simply apply old concepts without any sense of limitation.
So the truly intelligent are adaptive problem solvers, they may know a lot but this is not the essential characteristic of intelligence but simply a consequence of it, hence many with many isolated facts are still idiots when dealing with practical tasks.
“Much knowledge does not train the mind,” although “lovers of wisdom must know much”—these words, spoken over 2,000 years ago by Heraclitus of Ephes, are not out of date even today