This is a very philosophical question. The primary reason why I love AI as a CS guy.
Intelligence is, in my mind, the innate ability of an entity to use and manipulate their surroundings for some immediate or long term gain in a way that defies the capability of, relatively, naturally occurring processes.
What I mean by this: given some entity A, and some objective B, the entity A is able to overcome or achieve some objective B in non-biologically-limited ways.
We know of evolution. We know that this process is very gradual, and cultivates some form of intelligence as the entity evolves. But intelligence as we know it from a human perspective is be able to speed up this process in some way. We use our surroundings to our advantage in order to cultivate the intelligence we will grow.
Cave men all but had to be constantly awake: fearing some unnameable beast, or elemental force that would otherwise bring about their destruction. The harnessing of fire not only allowed us to cook our food, which grew our brains, but also allowed us to sleep more, which grew our brains. We, as entity A, overcame one of the primary hurdles to intelligence, objective B, by utilizing our surroundings in a way that allowed that intelligence to adapt, evolve, and surpass what we once previously defined as intelligence. We thus redefined what it meant to be intelligent as such. It was no longer the ability to stand up-right, or gather in groups (which other biological beings do anyway), but now became about using tools to propel yourself forward in the animal kingdom; to use your surroundings for your immediate advantage.
This anecdote can be seen throughout all of human history: we developed tribes and grouped together, discovered fire and grew our brains together. These tribes became villages, became cities, which began to farm and settle in certain spots in the world. Those cities then opened the gates for other people of different cities to come in and share their knowledge. And this allowed us to redefine how we saw intelligence: the ability to communicate as a species, instead of various sects within a species.
I’m sure you see where I’m going.
How do we define intelligence as artificial?
I’m not sure there really is any discernible difference between biological intelligence or otherwise. When viewed through the lens of intelligence as I have stated it, intelligence could thus be extended to any entity we’d like to extend it to. If you really want to explore the idea, silicon is an element that we developed from naturally reoccurring elements in order to fulfill some requirement (goal) that we gave ourselves. Who’s to say whether or not that silicon could develop some form of intelligence.
This conversation is wildly cool so I’d love to continue having it 🙂
thanks you RSS link