It’s Called Artificial Intelligence–but What Is Intelligence?

May 21, 2020

(Wired) – Elizabeth Spelke, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard, has spent her career testing the world’s most sophisticated learning system—the mind of a baby. Gurgling infants might seem like no match for artificial intelligence. They are terrible at labeling images, hopeless at mining text, and awful at videogames. Then again, babies can do things beyond the reach of any AI. By just a few months old, they’ve begun to grasp the foundations of language, such as grammar. They’ve started to understand how the physical world works, how to adapt to unfamiliar situations. Yet even experts like Spelke don’t understand precisely how babies—or adults, for that matter—learn. That gap points to a puzzle at the heart of modern artificial intelligence: We’re not sure what to aim for.