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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Intelligence – human vs artificial

8 June 2017


Recently, Google’s AlphaGo won from the world’s best Go player: Artificial Intelligence (AI) beats human intelligence. The FT of 1 June 2017 features an interesting view: “Decoupling [of] problem solving from any need to be intelligent, is key to breakthroughs”. Often, our view on intelligence is limited to factual intelligence and seldom about emotional intelligence.

Any (board) game has a limited number of potential moves. Hence, it’s possible to calculate every possible move. It was to be expected that AI’s factual knowledge would beat human knowledge. Frankly, humans don’t stand a chance against AI’s factual knowledge.

However, real life has an infinite number of moves, lots of facts (known knowns), and even more uncertainties. Humans cope with uncertainty by using their intuition (unknown knowns), beliefs (known unknowns) and imagination (unknown unknowns).

Isaac Asimov‘s Three Laws of Robotics are an example of an artificial belief. Artificial intuition most likely requires external curiosity. Only a few days after my 20 May 2017 blog on curiosity and AI, “researchers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, produced an artificial intelligence (AI) that is naturally curious” (eg, Futurism, MIT).

The real challenge for AI lies in internal curiosity which is a prerequisite for imagination. My 18 May 2017 blog mentions the apparent evolutionary sequence in Life: consciousness (all life-forms), external curiosity (many animals, all humans), self-awareness (certain animals, all humans), internal curiosity (humans), thinking (humans), and beliefs (humans).

It may feel counterintuitive, but human players might win again from AI players once AI would include beliefs and intuition. The lack of emotional intelligence in AI players, implies that strategies based upon deception, will not work. Intelligence and deception are related.

On 25 May 2017, prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf gave a masterclass on Dutch public TV about espionage. Intelligence is essential in espionage. She mentions the 6 steps of the intelligence cycle: information need, data collection, data processing, data analysis, exploitation, feedback (see video > 28 min.). This process feels somewhat similar to auditing financial statements.

My 2 June 2017 blog mentioned a new 3rd kind of war, next to systemic and political: cyber wars. Cyber wars use intelligence and counterintelligence (eg, deception, fake news). It’s not always easy to dissect deceptiveness in either humans or information. Humans assume trustworthiness rather than trusting and verifying. Our unwillingness of fact verification and our eagerness to assume is often a human Achilles’ heel.

Adding (artificial) beliefs and intuition to AI may create a level playing field between humans and AI. We would always lose on facts but we could beat AI based on imagination (eg, deception).

Just an illusion (1982) by Imagination – artistsFB, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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