[extropy-chat] 12,000 IQ and nothing on?

Anders Sandberg asa at nada.kth.se
Thu Apr 12 21:06:59 UTC 2007

Lee Corbin wrote:
> You put the existence of societal "problems"
> relating to low IQ in one category, and overall
> differences (i.e. distributions) in what I was
> calling "general accomplishment" or the potential
> to accomplish, in a separate category, which is
> also very interesting, and seems probably right
> to me.

Accomplishment often means the creation of positive wealth while problems
signals wealth destruction or lowered chances of a flourishing life.

> Of course, in this thread we are more concerned
> with the latter (as a possible reflection on the nature
> of superhuman intelligence) than on the former,
> despite the greater sociological and economic
> importance of those "problems" traceable to less
> than 100 IQ.

I think there is also a big opportunity in enhancing the normally bright.
Moving many millions from 95 to a 100 means a lot of reduction in problems
and a lot more accomplishments. Just the little thing of being able to do
jobs with written instruction (limit around 95 or so) opens a whole range
of opportunities.

> To me the fundamental problem is how closely
> the nature of extreme capability (as opposed to
> the notion of cognitive ability---in order to avoid
> begging the question) follows any kind of
> approximately linear scale. By now (I go along
> with the psychometricians) we have for humans
> that there is an approximately linear scale for
> human cognitive ability.  But this may break
> down---as you mentioned in your previous
> email---for very advanced entities.

I'm not certain there is any way of callibrating it other than enormous
competitions. But making a competition that works for ants, mice, chimps,
humans, transhumans, AIs, posthumans and fnorgnitzbs would be nearly
impossible. There seems to be at least a kind of understanding horizon
beneath humans that means that simpler creatures cannot understand general
concepts, but more complex creatures probably can emulate each other a la
the Church-Turing thesis.

> I now add a third possibility---namely that
> some component may be measurable by
> mathematical achievement. (This goes in hand
> with a contention I've had for a long time that
> perhaps extreme intelligence rather trivially
> solves all non-mathematical problems
> comparitively early in its development.)

Math might be a good choice since it includes many different levels of
complexity and one can find a wide variety of domains. Some quite similar
to the everyday world, some utterly different. Of course, some of us would
say the everyday world is just embedded in math.

Anders Sandberg,
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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