Sunday, December 16, 2007

Collective and non-human intelligence

Some thinkers have explored the idea of combined intelligence, arising from the coordination of many people.

A battleship, for instance, cannot be operated by a single person's knowledge, actions and intelligence, it takes a corresponding and interacting crew.

Similarly, the interesting behaviors of a bee colony are not exhibited in the intelligence and actions of any lone bee, but rather manifested in the behavior of the hive.

These ideas are explored as a foundation for human thought, with applications for artificial intelligence (AI), by MIT AI pioneers Norbert Wiener and Marvin Minsky. Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged from Computer science as a specialty which seeks to make computers do something in increasingly intelligent ways, and provides insights into human thought processes.

When considering animal intelligence, a more common definition of intelligence might be applied: the "ability to adapt effectively to the environment, either by making a change in oneself or by changing the environment or finding a new one" (Encyclopædia Britannica).

Many people have also speculated about the opportunity of extraterrestrial intelligence.

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