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Paper: The Convergence of Intelligences
Volume: 213, Bioastronomy '99: A New Era in Bioastronomy
Page: 609
Authors: Diederich, Joachim
Abstract: Minsky (1985) argued an extraterrestrial intelligence may be similar to ours despite very different origins. ``Problem- solving'' offers evolutionary advantages and individuals who are part of a technical civilisation should have this capacity. On earth, the principles of problem-solving are the same for humans, some primates and machines based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques. Intelligent systems use ``goals'' and ``sub-goals'' for problem-solving, with memories and representations of ``objects'' and ``sub-objects'' as well as knowledge of relations such as ``cause'' or ``difference.'' Some of these objects are generic and cannot easily be divided into parts. We must, therefore, assume that these objects and relations are universal, and a general property of intelligence. Minsky's arguments from 1985 are extended here. The last decade has seen the development of a general learning theory (``computational learning theory'' (CLT) or ``statistical learning theory'') which equally applies to humans, animals and machines. It is argued that basic learning laws will also apply to an evolved alien intelligence, and this includes limitations of what can be learned efficiently. An example from CLT is that the general learning problem for neural networks is intractable, i.e. it cannot be solved efficiently for all instances (it is ``NP-complete''). It is the objective of this paper to show that evolved intelligences will be constrained by general learning laws and will use task-decomposition for problem-solving. Since learning and problem-solving are core features of intelligence, it can be said that intelligences converge despite very different origins.
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