Senate Do We Need Intelligence?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Great point... so I guess that means we are all in agreement that we really don't have any proof that intelligence is at all beneficial to the survival of a species.
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    If the world's population was half this size, would that necessarily be different? Proportionally, I mean; you'd still find significant numbers of people excluded from the technology and resources of the First World.

    What do you think about transhumanism, Jabba?
  3. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    It's potentially beneficial, given a relevant survival situation.

    Human intelligence is capable* of saving the entire ecosystem from certain astronomical threats, and may one day preserve all life by exporting it to different planets. That would be of great benefit to the genes of all species, not just ours.

    *at least theoretically
    Last edited by V-2, Jan 29, 2013
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Who knows? Have we or will we develop technologies advanced enough so that we can sidestep evolution or take over? Will we be able to engineer ourselves into a better species or group of species?

    As a Niven/Pournelle fan, I was heavily influenced by The Mote in God's Eye about an ancient alien species that had engineered itself into distinct subspecies that performed various functions in the division of labor. There was a diplomatic caste, an engineering caste, a medical caste, a soldier caste and a ruling caste, each bioengineered to be especially good at its job. There was a barely-sentient porter caste for manual labor.

    It may be that offloading some of the housekeeping tasks of intelligence is a step in that direction. Maybe we're headed toward becoming a post human machine/primate hybrid with a hive mind. First computing takes over our memory and data processing functions, then social networking erodes our sense of individual identity and erases even the most rudimentary concepts of privacy, then Google develops algorithms for searching human brains for content and caching it on the web. Then the human brain is deliberately downsized through genetic engineering to act as more of a "thin client."

    etc.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 29, 2013
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I think there would always be a significant portion of the populace who'd like to remain the way mother nature made them; call them evolutionary reactionaries. I imagine before anything like your scenario happens, there's going to be a big war - not unlike... Afghanistan.

    And such a war could threaten the entire human race, which could bring us back to square one. So I guess what's important is that we start building those knowledge caches like the Moties built. Then we'll finally have a way to put all this intelligence to good use!
    Last edited by SuperWatto, Jan 29, 2013
  6. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    And build time-traveling spacecraft.
    Darth-Lando likes this.
  7. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Wow, I'd completely forgotten about that show.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I was looking at an article about the "Black Queen Hypothesis" which I think offers some support for the idea that we could evolve toward greater offloading of our intelligence.

    Black Queen Hypothesis: Basis of a New Evolutionary Theory

    The idea is that organisms might have an adaptive advantage if they can shed certain abilities and genes and get other organisms to perform certain necessary functions for them.

    The example given is Prochlorococcus, a plankton that apparently dumped its genes for neutralizing hydrogen peroxide, and allows its neighbor organisms to perform that task for them.

    Humans of course already have all the gut flora that perform digestive functions for us and aid our immune system. It's possible that we may gain adaptive advantages by offloading some of our genes for higher level cognition to machine intelligence in much the same manner over time.
  9. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    I think you're anthropomorphising a little bit, if that's the right term. It probably isn't... It's probably the exact opposite of what I mean. Bacteriomorphising?

    If there was a bacteria that could take over some jobs that our brain cells do, and if our brains existed in an open, soupy environment where things can get mixed up, then maybe you'd have a point. Failing that, technology could provide the environment where programs and subroutines could bypass brainpower, but then there'd have to be some sort of survival benefit to 'shedding' genes that allow higher intelligence...
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm just suggesting an evolutionary analogy, not saying there actually is one. You may well be right.

    Big human brains are pretty new. There hasn't been much time for any cooperative evolutionary development like there has been for mammal gut flora. Maybe there is some competitive advantage to smaller-brained humans with symbiotic connections to machine intelligence. We need less energy and fewer resources individually?
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 30, 2013
  11. LandoThe CapeCalrissian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 3
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What a fun article. Kanazawa seems so smug about intelligence.

    Here's a fun infographic about potential future developments.
    [IMG]

    By 2020 - You can upload the contents of your brain to a computer. Hmm
    By the 2030s you can log onto the internet directly from your brain, whatever that means.
    By 2045 - "The singularity has taken place" - the advent of superintelligence through technology. I think they mis-describe the standard definition of the technological singularity, but whatever.
  13. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    You can rely on those predictions. Now excuse me, I'm just going to rocket pants over to the lunar colony to pick up my grocery pills.
  14. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Lowbacca_1977 likes this.