Speaker: Alex Wissner-Gross
“The question of whether machines can think is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim” – Computer scientist Djikstra criticising early computer scientists obsessions with machines ‘thinking’.
Alex looked at developing a universal equation of intelligence. Many of the recent intelligent computer programs made actions to maximise future options – not to be ‘trapped’.
His equation is F = T ∇ Sτ
- F is Force of intelligence
- T is strength to maintain future actions
- With diversity of future options S over time horizon τ
Universes with more entropy are more conducive to intelligence. Alex discussed Entropica, a program that seems to make it’s own goals by maximising long term entropy. This naturally allows it to balance a pole upright, tool use, social networking, play the stock market – even without being instructed to do so. All these inherently human traits can be encouraged by this one equation.
From this experiment, the following conclusions can be drawn
- The ability to take control of our universe is not a result of intelligence, but a requirement for intelligence.
- Goal seeking is important to maximise future actions, even at the cost of today’s action
- Intelligence is a physical process that maximises future freedom, and resists future confinement
A fascinating talk, with important implications in philosophy of intelligence and computer science in addition to the fields mentioned during the experiments. Strongly recommended.