Make Robots that Maximize Their Future Options

One of the challenges that thinkers have been facing for decades is defining intelligence. Without such a definition, it’s hard to measure intelligence or to make truly intelligent robots. In his TED talk (see Video below), Alex Wissner-Gross introduces an equation that is supposed to provide a concrete, yet general answer.

Wissner-Gross defines intelligence as the ability to maximize future options. This is related to the concept of entropy well known in physics. Indeed, entropy is a measure of the number of specific ways in which a thermodynamic system may be arranged. Interestingly, life is not part of the equation. Even non living dynamic systems can be considered as having some degree of intelligence.

Alex Wissner-Gross: A new equation for intelligence (TED Nov. 2013)

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