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What is Intelligence?

We're always talking about Artificial Intelligence, but what is intelligence artificial or not?

Resource written by lauralikespi (our founder)

Chess pieces
A human's face, focused on one eye
8 sided Rubik's cube

These are some of the top images returned when "intellience" is search on Unsplash (Chess, eye, rubik's cube)

Is My Coffee Maker Intelligent?

I tell this story a lot, so apologies if you’ve heard it before. Once when I had recently graduated, I bought a coffee machine. One of those percolating ones, an electronic one, I felt so grown up and fancy. The best bit was the timer - meaning my sleepy self could wake up to the smell of hot coffee ready in the morning. Now, this was around the time of one of the waves of the Internet of the Things, when smart devices were becoming more common. This was not a smart coffee machine, it cost £30 in the days when those devices cost hundreds. A colleague of mine could not understand how this coffee machine was not “one of those smart AI devices”, he kept mentioning how clever it was that the coffee machine could have coffee ready for me in the morning. The ingenious intelligence of this coffee machine was a clock - and myself being reliable and setting my alarm at the same time every day. 

Machines can do useful things, clever things, seemingly intelligent things without actually displaying any actual intelligence.


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