Why It’s a Mistake to Compare A.I. With Human Intelligence

Evolved intelligence reflects the compromises and shortcuts necessary for a low bandwidth ape brain to function in an incredibly complex world. Photo illustration by Sofya Levina. Image by lucky_spark/Thinkstock In 1950, the brilliant mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing began his seminal paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” with a simply query: “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’ ” It is a question that still resonates today, because it is essentially incoherent and thus unanswerable. Turing himself quickly turned to a more pragmatic approach, proposing the now famous Turing test. While there are many versions today, they all essentially involve a human interlocutor being fed two information feeds, one from another human and one from the device or software being tested for intelligence. The interlocutor does not know which…

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