Posts Tagged ‘Intelligence’

Posted: January 6, 2013 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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[Artificial Intelligence] may well be the most vital of all commodities, surpassing water, food, heat and light. Without it, we will certainly not survive as a species.

One of our problems is data – masses of it. A few hundred years of scientific inquiry and the invention of the data-generating and sharing mechanism that is the internet has left reams of crucial information unused and unanalysed.

AI is not about sentient robots, but machines that mimic our organic intelligence by adapting to, as well as recognising, patterns in data. AI is about making machines understand.

Jamie Carter / Peter Cochrane, { South China Morning Post } (via olena)

Tracy Packiam Alloway researches working memory at the University of North Florida and has developed the world’s first standardised working memory tests for educators. Her latest book is an edited collection, Working Memory: The Connected Intelligence, published by Psychology Press. What is working memory? You could think of it as the brain’s conductor. So for example, when we speak, working memory would be bringing the words that we know together and connecting them into a coherent sentence. It’s the conscious processing of information. We see working memory at work not just in education – researchers have looked at how working memory plays a critical role in a whole range of different daily functions.

Tracy Packiam Alloway: working memory is a better test of ability than IQ | Science | The Observer

Posted: December 21, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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IQ tests are misleading because they do not accurately reflect intelligence, according to a study which found that a minimum of three different exams are needed to measure someone’s brainpower.

For more than a century our intelligence quotient (IQ) has been used to measure how clever people are and Mensa, the society for the intellectual elite, has even used the test to weed out sub-par applicants. But now the scale has been dismissed as a “myth” by scientists who found that our intelligence can only be predicted by combining results from at least three tests of our mental agility. Different circuits within the brain are used for different thought processes, the researchers showed, meaning separate tests of short-term memory, reasoning and verbal skills are needed to measure someone’s overall intelligence. Their landmark study was based on the results of an online intelligence test which was launched by the Daily Telegraph and New Scientist two years ago, and attracted more than 110,000 responses. Dr Roger Highfield, the Telegraph columnist and one of the authors of the paper, said: “When you come to the most complex known object, the human brain, the idea that there is only one measure of intelligence had to be wrong. (via IQ tests ‘do not reflect intelligence’ – Telegraph)

Scientists have discovered for the first time how humans — and other mammals — have evolved to have intelligence. Researchers have identified the moment in history when the genes that enabled us to think and reason evolved. This point 500 million years ago provided our ability to learn complex skills, analyse situations and have flexibility in the way in which we think. Professor Seth Grant, of the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, said: “One of the greatest scientific problems is to explain how intelligence and complex behaviours arose during evolution.” The research, which is detailed in two papers in Nature Neuroscience, also shows a direct link between the evolution of behaviour and the origins of brain diseases. Scientists believe that the same genes that improved our mental capacity are also responsible for a number of brain disorders. “This ground breaking work has implications for how we understand the emergence of psychiatric disorders and will offer new avenues for the development of new treatments,” said John Williams, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust, one of the study funders.

Origin of intelligence and mental illness linked to ancient genetic accident | e! Science News

Posted: December 4, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Several “brainy” genes that were duplicated in a tiny sea creature nearly 550 million years ago may have led to the massive expansion in intelligence in vertebrate species, two new studies have found. The studies, published today (Dec. 2) in the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest this duplication of certain genes spurred an explosion in the number of chemicals that regulate brain function in vertebrates (animals with backbones), thereby leading to greater intelligence, the research suggests. “This genome event produced a kind of cognitive big bang; it produced a large set of interesting behavior,” said study co-author Seth Grant, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “It produced a molecular toolbox, which in the case of the brain, produced many, many more proteins that you find in the synapses, the junctions between nerve cells.” The study showed that changes, or mutations, in these genes lead to learning problems in both mice and humans, as well as psychological disorders in humans, said Jeffrey Boore, the CEO of Genome Project Solutions, who was not involved in the study. That supports the notion that these genes “have diversified throughout evolution from their ancient duplications to perform important, specific, diverse roles in mammal cognition in behavior.” (via Intelligence Genes Found | Vertebrate Evolution | LiveScience)

Posted: November 24, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Using an artificial intelligence technique inspired by theories about how the brain recognizes patterns, technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs. The advances have led to widespread enthusiasm among researchers who design software to perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking. They offer the promise of machines that converse with humans and perform tasks like driving cars and working in factories, raising the specter of automated robots that could replace human workers. The technology, called deep learning, has already been put to use in services like Apple’s Siri virtual personal assistant, which is based on Nuance Communications’ speech recognition service, and in Google’s Street View, which uses machine vision to identify specific addresses. But what is new in recent months is the growing speed and accuracy of deep-learning programs, often called artificial neural networks or just “neural nets” for their resemblance to the neural connections in the brain. “There has been a number of stunning new results with deep-learning methods,” said Yann LeCun, a computer scientist at New York University who did pioneering research in handwriting recognition at Bell Laboratories. “The kind of jump we are seeing in the accuracy of these systems is very rare indeed.” (via Scientists See Advances in Deep Learning, a Part of Artificial Intelligence –

Posted: November 23, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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We like to think our intelligence is self-made; it happens inside our heads, the product of our inner thoughts alone. But the rise of Google, Wikipedia and other online tools has made many people question the impact of these technologies on our brains. Is typing in the search term, “Who has played James Bond in the movies?” the same as knowing that the answer is Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig (… plus David Niven in Casino Royale)? Can we say we know the answer to this question when what we actually know is how to rapidly access the information? I’ve written before about whether or not the internet is rewiring our brains, but here the question is about how we seek to define intelligence itself. And the answer appears to be an intriguing one. Because when you look at the evidence from psychological studies, it suggests that much of our intelligence comes from how we coordinate ourselves with other people and our environment. An influential theory among psychologists is that we’re cognitive misers. This is the idea that we are reluctant to do mental work unless we have to, we try to avoid thinking things though fully when a short cut is available. If you’ve ever voted for the political candidate with the most honest smile, or chosen a restaurant based on how many people are already sitting in there, then you’ve been a cognitive miser. The theory explains why we’d much rather type a zipcode into a sat-nav device or Google Maps than memorise and recall the location of a venue – it’s so much easier to do (via BBC – Future – Health – What makes us intelligent?)