May 22, 2022

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debate, artificial intelligence | Do you really know what intelligence is?


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When we hear the word “intelligent,” we often imagine a penniless scientist named Albert Einstein. Einstein was undoubtedly smart. With the help of mathematics and the power of reasoning, he was able to derive many of the most important laws of nature in physics.

But what exactly is intelligence?

If we continue to imagine Einstein and the work he did, we can say that intelligence has the ability to solve advanced problems. But there are many other characteristics of intelligence. For example, the ability to learn, the ability to see patterns, the ability to abstract and reason and the ability to transfer knowledge from one field to another.

In practice, intelligence is about our ability to predict the future and plan accordingly.

Language and mathematics can be important tools in this process, but they are not necessary. It can also be said that animals such as dogs and monkeys are intelligent. In recent years, we also see that computer software can be smart.

Computer programs can now solve advanced problems that were intended for humans a few years ago. This is called artificial intelligence. In other words, intelligence is complex.

One can talk about creative intelligence and emotional intelligence, and one can be intelligent in certain areas, such as mathematics or language. People who are smart in one area are often smart in other areas as well.

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As early as 1904, English psychologist Charles Spearman published an article showing that English school children who do well in school tend to do well in many subjects. He saw that if a student was good at, say, English, there was a fairly high probability that the student would do well in math as well. This was surprising, as there is no clear transfer value between the two subjects.

Spearman believed that we could have intelligence within certain narrow areas, and he also defined a general intelligence factor, often referred to as the g factor, which was a measure of general intelligence.

Within artificial intelligence, we also distinguish between narrow intelligence and general intelligence.

Narrow AI is a computer program designed to solve one particular task. It could be a computer program that recognizes a type of cancer in medical images or a computer program that can play chess. It has been a long time since computer programs were better than the best people at chess, and now we see artificial intelligence outperforming humans in one area after another.

This applies not only to relatively simple board games, but also to more complex problems such as recognizing different objects in pictures. But, and this is important, humans still differ from the most powerful computer programs in that humans have general intelligence. At present, we are far from creating artificial general intelligence. It also means that we are far from being able to develop a robot that is similar to us as humans and could help us solve many different types of tasks at home.

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Intelligence has led to the great progress of mankind in recent years, which has now made us live much better lives and doubled our life expectancy in the past two hundred years.

We’re now in the starting hole for artificial intelligence, where smart software can help us with everything from medical diagnosis and new drug development to process automation in industry and perhaps even self-driving cars. Norway must participate in this explosion of intelligence that will take place in the next few years, and we are in a good position to do so.

We have a long and good tradition in Norway for understanding the building blocks of intelligence through distinct brain research environments. In 1966, Terje Lømo discovered important mechanisms of memory in Per Andersen’s lab at the University of Oslo, and the legacy has continued from there and also led to Edvard and May-Britt Moser receiving a Nobel Prize for their discoveries of the mechanisms behind the sense of place. .

There is now also a new focus on artificial intelligence in Norway, among others by the most powerful academic institutions that are joining forces in the NORAai collaboration.

NORA.ai is a large-scale artificial intelligence collaboration in Norway. When in NORAai this fall we held a Nordic conference on artificial intelligence, it was both academically interesting and most importantly symbolically important that brain researcher and Nobel laureate Edward Moser gave the conference’s opening lecture.

The basis of AI is having good algorithms, good computers (computing power) and at least good data. In Norway, we have a high degree of digitization, and this data can be a starting point for developing good algorithms that can help us solve complex problems. Within the framework of artificial intelligence, academia is increasingly collaborating with business and the public sector.

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With continuous focused investment, we in Norway can increase our intelligence and create value using smart computer software. Here, Østfold and Fredrikstad should also know their visiting hours.

It would be foolish not to focus on intelligence.

Writer

Class Petersen:

*45 years old, lives in Tarra.

* PhD in theoretical neuroscience (brain research).

*She has worked for over 20 years as a brain researcher.

*She now works with AI and chairs NORAai, a national collaboration between eight universities, three colleges, and four research institutes within AI.