On the Nature of Intelligence
Your weekly newsletter from the mind of Miles Lasater
Happy Saturday! Here is your weekly dose of the world of Miles, learning, techno-optimism, business thoughts, and ways to be a better human.
Turing Test Passed? Turing (the “father of computer science” who was tragically punished for not “passing” as straight) proposed a test of artificial intelligence based on a computer passing as a human in conversation. My guess is that software is already capable of passing this test. I’m not the first to point out that when software does something considered the sole domain of human intelligence, we change our expectations. We’ve seen it happen with chess, Go, language and art. What’s next? Here is another test for good AI proposed by Steve Wozniak. The test is: To enter an average household and make a cup of coffee with stuff found in the house. Not sure I could pass the test if the coffee has to taste good.
Math. One of the day-to-day tests of human intelligence is math ability. And I used to embrace a belief that speed in math problem-solving was a sign of intelligence. But now I’d rather be able to solve novel problems taking months than known problems in seconds. Depth not speed. If you hold the speed belief or a fixed mindset about math, then you probably haven’t read your Jo Boaler [PDF]. There is no time like the present. But don’t feel like you have to finish it quickly.
Overeating. Too often, I find myself overeating. My stated goal is to enjoy a healthy amount of food. Is it intelligent to behave counter to my conscious goals? To understand this better, I recently read the Hungry Brain (ok) and am rereading the End of Overeating (more useful). Like the Happiness Hypothesis, both books embrace a model of human psychology where the conscious will (the rider) is most powerful in steering the body (the elephant) by early intervention to avoid temptation (the path). Nudge the elephant down your chosen path before it smells temptation and rampages out of control.
Until next week,
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