Last week, there was another flurry of media coverage for AI, as Google’s AlphaZero went from no knowledge of the rules of chess to beating the current (computer) world champion in less than a day. And that inevitably prompts assumptions that very specific domain expertise will somehow translate into ever accelerating general intelligence, until humans become pets of the AI, if they are suffered to live at all.
This timely article systematically debunks that line of thought, demonstrating that intelligence is a social construct and arguing that it is in many ways a property of our civilization, not of each of us as individuals within it. Human IQ (however flawed a measure that is) does not correlate with achievement, let alone with world domination, beyond a fairly narrow range – raw cognition, it seems, is far from being the only relevant component of intelligence.
Or in a splendid tweet length dig at those waiting expectantly for the singularity:
Dolphins achieve super-human swimming ability in < 24 hours! It's just a matter of time before they surpass humans in every task. #DolphinZero
— Daniel Lowd @ NIPS 2017 (@dlowd) December 7, 2017