Wrong question. Should be, What is so intelligent about artificial intelligence? Currently the answer is nothing, unless you happen to believe that modern computers’ abilities to very rapidly solve complex equations (and only that ability) magically bestows intelligence upon them. The most powerful calculator in the universe would still not be intelligent if all it could do was calculate. And, despite what people commonly believe about modern computers/computing, at base it is still just a math exercise (note: I use the term “math” in a very broad sense here and consider statistics and formal logic of all types to fall under the “math” umbrella. Obviously, many will take issue with this and they are probably correct to, however, it matters little for purposes of this argument for even if logic is not just another form of math it is not a system out of which can emerge intelligence but rather it is a system in which intelligences can operate. It forms the boundaries of how they may operate you could say. It defines what intelligences can and cannot do, but it is not intelligence. In a similar fashion mathematics may be understood and used by intelligences but it is not intelligence or a system of intelligence in its own right). A complex math exercise to be sure but ultimately one still based entirely upon computation and the following of rules. These rules make up the algorithms with which all computers are still programmed. And a computer, a machine, cannot help but follow those rules, unerringly, in exact detail, each and every single time. It cannot stray from the rules given to it, for if it did it would no longer be a machine, it would have will, intention. No machine has such a thing, just as no machine is intelligent. I am not saying that intention or will is a requirement of intelligence though it may or may not be, but I am saying that it does require more than the ability to solve math problems. This is why intelligence “tests” (though they are severely flawed and do not measure what they purport to measure), and college entrance exams, and other tests of cognitive skills are not comprised only of a series of math problems.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store