I can’t find the “intelligence”

I read AI and ML articles and walk away feeling confused and disappointed. Our algorithms rely on massive hardware operating on the nanosecond scale. Animals are constructed using electrochemical components that operate on the millisecond scale. And yet, animals can do things that are unthinkable using our AI technology.

I am a software developer with a background in computer architecture, modeling, and simulation so I am not a complete outsider but I don’t know a damn thing about AI. I look at AI from the outside with only a foggy view of the internals. I think about what capabilities an AI would need to replicate those of an ant’s brain. Could we make a machine that can build anthills, follow trails, forage for food, defend itself, cut leaves to float across streams, handle varying terrain, etc. etc. etc.? Could we make the AI hardware the size of an ant’s brains and use no more energy than an ant’s brain?

The fact that we are not even close is a clear indication that we are not on the right track. Maybe I don’t understand. Maybe this is semantics and a different definition of intelligence applies.

So why not try something else — how about a little rebranding? Let AI mean “Advanced Inference” or whatever you want. I can grant you the “artificial” part, the “intelligence” part is questionable.

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