Pre-thinking:

Alex Wissner-Gross studies intelligence through physics and computer science. He has developed an equation for intelligence that is the equivalent of the physics equation E=MC2 . Look at how he came to develop this idea and see if you agree that this equation captures some or all intelligent behavior.

Why you should listen:

Lately Wissner-Gross started wondering: Why have we searched for so long to understand intelligence? Can it really be this elusive? His latest work posits that intelligence can indeed be defined physically, as a dynamic force, rather than a static property. He explains intelligence in terms of causal entropic forces, ultimately defining it as “a force to maximize future freedom of action.”

Who is he:

Wissner-Gross is a fellow at the Harvard Institute for Applied Computational Science and a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard and bachelor’s degrees in physics, electrical science and engineering, and mathematics from MIT.

Questions:

  1. What is the significance of entropy in human intelligence? Discuss your answer with someone.
  1. How did Wissner-Gross come to the idea of a single equation for human intelligence?
  1. How is the program Entropica like a human mind? What are some uses for this kind of artificial intelligence? Discuss possible effects on our culture.
  1. How does Wissner-Gross view the concept of cybernetic revolt, compared to the historical view?
  1. Explain the connection between a bottleneck and goal seeking.
  1. At the end of his talk, Wissner-Gross sums up his theory in a single sentence. Discuss this summary with someone.

A new equation for intelligence, with Alex Wissner-Gross

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