Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

operationalizing intelligence
February 29, 2008, 10:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

so there probably IS such a thing as social intelligence

intelligence consists of the ability to “select from a number of possible configurations of items that one then (through intelligence) finds most appropriate for one’s given environment and task”. Creativity consists of the ability to generate such possible configurations of items. Creativity demands intelligence since the generation of such configurations is not random.

Social intelligence demands selecting the social responses most appropriate for a given social situation (assuming that one desires to be socially tactful of course).


Better def: As the word “intelligence” is a pretty loaded term (although perhaps most people agree on their basic conceptions of intelligence – disagreements tend to arise over issues of “multiple intelligences” and such).

Here’s my definition:

Creativity seems to be based on the capacity to imagine unique possibilities based on the perceptual environment one lives in (and intelligence is based on the capacity to judge the actions most conducive to a “desired outcome”. (a perceptual environment is inclusive of hallucinations). Creativity/intelligence only involve the possession of capacity, not the acting upon of such capacity. In biological organisms, of course, the possession of capacity is closely tied into the acting upon of such capacity, for the acting upon of such capacity helps develop the possession of capacity (from an evolutionarily point of view).

Intelligence is highly conducive to creativity since it allows one to “select” the “most appropriate” possibilities that one imagines – and to “use” those possibilities to achieve a “desired outcome”. It is possible to be intelligent without being creative, as one can still be a perfect judge without being creative. It is also possible to be creative without being intelligent (in a sense, the “infinite monkey typewriter” is creative if not intelligent). It seems that traditional definitions of creativity do incorporate elements of intelligence – as creative individuals are able to produce possibilities that “fit” in the environment – rather than possibilities that involve random number generators. An intelligent animal is able to use its sensory information to produce actions most appropriate to its desires in its particular perceptual environment (for example, an intelligent orca is able to use its sensory information to imagine the actions most likely to capture and eat a seal – a seal that happens to be on an iceberg. It has to be able to judge which actions are more likely to produce results in its particular environment).

Of course, there is also “learning speed”. Is there a logical connection between learning speed and intelligence? Or do they happen to be highly correlated in humans but not necessarily in other organisms or machines? Bear in mind that intelligence is useless without accumulated knowledge and so it makes sense from an adaptive standpoint for intelligence and learning speed to have high correlation with each other.

So in this case, there is (a) learning speed and (b) creativity. It’s possible that one can learn fast without being creative. Or one can lose all ability to form new memories (but can still be creative or rely on one’s stockpile of memories). In this, intelligence is perhaps defined by the ability to judge from what one learns or creates.

An intelligent organism is intelligent irrespective of its environment, and it may act in ways that are unlikely to produce desired results in a completely different environment (especially if the new environment has no patterns whatsoever – or if the organism happens to be hallucinating). However, in MOST cases, we can effectively define intelligence as the capacity to envision cause-and-effect in a particular environment.

There is definitely space for “multiple intelligences” (in the human brain, it may happen that the “multiple intelligences” happen to be correlated with one factor g – but this may just be an accident of evolution if anything). One can be analytically intelligent but not socially intelligent, in that one is able to select the “most appropriate” actions for a desired analytical outcome but totally unable to select the “most appropriate” actions for a desired social outcome.

January 17, 2008, 11:28 am | Edit this
Filed under: dictionaryofimportantterms
So what is intelligence? I’m trying to arrive at a good definition of it.
it involves finding patterns in the world and drawing inferences at it.
HOWEVER, it does not mean getting a good grip at cause and effect in the world (in the strictest sense). an intelligent organism is intelligent irrespective of its environment, and it may be totally misled to causation in a completely different environment (especially if the new environment has no patterns whatsoever), in which case the below definition of intelligence becomes an ad hoc definition of intelligence relative to environment.Okay I think I have one. HAVING THE CAPACITY TO IMAGINE unique possibilities in one’s space of memory (that allows perceptual sensory access of one’s own imagination) that are based on the environment that one views and THEN POSSESSING THE CAPACITY to IMAGINE the decisions that one makes WITHIN one’s PERCEPTUAL ENVIRONMENT. (a perceptual environment is INCLUSIVE of hallucinations). Also imagination ONLY involves the possession of CAPACITY, not the ACTING UPON of SUCH CAPACITY. (it is only an adaptive function that people tend to define intelligence by means of behavior – since evolutionarily speaking, there are few organs without functions that are related to the organism’s decisions)hm

I would suggest that, at its crux, ‘intelligence’ is the faculty of understanding the relationship between cause and effect. In practice, intelligence often involves making a choice from among several options by drawing upon experience to make judgments about likely consequences. The efficiency with which an animal can apply its past to shape its own future in ways desirable to itself is thus an index of intelligence. In evolutionary terms, the intelligence of animals can be measured and compared in terms of speed (how long it takes to make decisions) and adaptive fitness (the number of copies of an animal’s genes that survive into future generations as a result of the sum-total of its decisions). The faster and more adaptively an animal can make such decisions, the more intelligent it is.


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