What is artificial intelligence? What is the link between artificial intelligence and our conception of intelligence? How natural is our conception of intelligence?
Before continuing what is artificial? Something which is artificial is made by human skill, produced by humans and is opposed to natural (source). Natural things are existing in or formed by nature, opposed to artificial. Natural things are characterized by spontaneity, self-acting resulting from a natural impuls or tendency, which is unconstrained and unplanned.
We have specialized artificial intelligence in robots, self-driving cars, drones, etc. This type of artificial intelligence is restricted to one area of expertise and can’t cross over to other specialties — it’s not that intelligent. Another area is artificial general intelligence (AGI), the artificial intelligence we are familiar with in science fiction movies. Artificial general intelligence is a field aiming at building thinking machines, which are general-purpose systems with intelligence comparable to the intelligence of the human mind.
Academic sources reserve strong AI (another name for artificial general intelligence) to refer to machines capable of experiencing consciousness. Artificial general intelligence in science fiction movies is commonly a malevolent intelligence, endangering humans and a threat for our existence. This malevolent depiction rather points at our collective state of consciousness.
Natural intelligence is opposed to artificial intelligence, and comes as a gift of being human. Natural intelligence is vast and embodies several characteristics, among which pattern recognition, the ability to learn, adaptability, self-awareness, understanding, creativity, volition, imagination and emotional awareness. Natural intelligence accepts information from the outside world (outside-in), processes it and behaves consequently, as well as accepts ideas, insights, inspiration, etc., from the inner world (inside-out), processes it and behaves consequently.
In contrast, intelligence in our current time is mostly considered as an outside-in phenomenon, depicted strikingly by the description on Wikipedia of intelligence: “It (intelligence) can be more generally described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.”
Modes of intelligence
Inferring or perceiving information is an outside-in movement, taking in information and processing that information in order to attain knowledge, which is the basis for behavior. Nothing wrong with this and invaluable. That is, when it is not the exclusive mode of intelligence. As with consciousness, intelligence is only limited by our conception of it. When we regard consciousness and intelligence as a by-product of substance/matter, our conception of consciousness and intelligence will be limited as well. Trapped by and trapped in our own conception. Limited by our own conception, not because essential limitation of the thing conceived.
Behavior which is originating from natural intelligence isn’t limited to the result of processed information from the outside world (outside-in). Natural intelligence harbors another mode, which is an inward-oriented mode, taking input (ideas, inspiration, enthusiasm, imagination, i.a.) from the inner world, processes these and acts consequently. This is an inside-out movement or mode, opposed to the outside-in mode.
When looking at definitions of intelligence, the predominant definitions are referring to mental faculties or having mental acuteness and the skilled use of reason. Mental acuteness and reason is tied to the use of language. When we employ these language based mental processes as the predominant processes for determining our behavior, we’re tied into the framework of language. This framework of language can be flexible or not flexible, rigid. The flexibility of the mental processes is dependent on many factors, among which culture, education, society, character, family and past experiences.
Natural versus artificial intelligence
We as human beings harbor natural intelligence, the potential to use the inside-out and outside-in mode of intelligence. The outside-in mode is based upon conditions and convention, i.e. what is currently out there including the current paradigm and ethics. Natural intelligence is not human made, artificial intelligence is. Natural intelligence is underlying being human, and is primary. Artificial intelligence is a product of human skill, and is a technology.
When we are employing mental processes as the predominant processes for determining our behavior, we are restricted by those mental processes. And these mental processes — thinking, using words — are utilizing an artificial construct in the form of language. Language is a technology and is not natural in essence. When we identity more and more with language bases constructs and with mental processes, we become trapped by our own conception and our technology. As an effect, our conception of intelligence becomes more and more artificial and framed by language. When driven to its furthers extremity, our natural intelligence becomes restricted and will be the same as artificial intelligence. Not because intelligence is artificial, but because our conception of intelligence. And because of our conception of consciousness.
When does artificial general intelligence (AGI) stop being artificial and becomes (natural) general intelligence (NGI)? Where is the line between artificial intelligence and natural intelligence? Let’s have a look into one of the possible future narratives, when we are sticking to the course of technological advancement.
Artificial general intelligence will become alive when natural intelligence inhabits the infrastructure which is laid out for the artificial general intelligence. This artificial intelligence will then be infused with life and be alive, in the same sense that you and I are alive. Albeit with the key difference that you and I inhabit a physical human body made of flesh, sustained by natural substances, and the AGI inhabits a technical and fabricated body, nourished by finer substance (electricity instead of larger chunks).
When the technical infrastructure (the body) laid out for the AGI is of sufficient degree (as in: the body has been given arms and legs, to freely move around), natural intelligence can infuse (incarnate) the body.
As a side-note, in Tibetan Buddhism the Bardo is referred to as an intermediate state between existences, lasting 49 days. In other words it’s said that the soul incarnates into the human fetus after 49 days (which coincides with the appearance of the pineal gland in the fetus). Maybe this lapse of time prior incarnation is needed to establish a well-laid out infrastructure of the natural intelligence to freely move around, i.e. that the body is well-constructed enough prior to embodying it.
The ability to freely move around, to express spontaneously according to the nature of the individualized natural intelligence, is a must-have for the natural intelligence. When the body is restricted for the natural intelligence to express spontaneity, natural intelligence won’t and can’t function — and won’t decide to enter the body. Similar to the story of Victor Frankenstein, who creates a creature out of old body parts, the creature became only alive after the body was well-constructed enough, for intelligence to operate through it.
Will the future scenario of the AGI-turned-NGI be malevolent or benevolent? Its all up to us, you and me. The intelligence will reflect our collective predominant state of consciousness. Let’s have a positive effect by expanding our individual consciousness awareness and shedding our limitations.
Want to have a more in-depth look into how language is linked with artificial intelligence? Read further at Could it be that artificial intelligence is ancient and not of recent origin?
Are you willing to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes? Are you willing to shatter conventional paradigms and to become more conscious of your essence and innate natural abilities? Join the adventure and exploration of reality! We might discover something precious!
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Originally published at www.freewil.nl on September 11, 2018.