Is Intelligence an Algorithm

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Pub Date 08 Jan 2018 | Archive Date 24 Jan 2018

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How do we understand the world around us? How do we solve problems? Often the answer to these questions follows a certain pattern, an algorithm if you wish. This is the case when our analytical left-brain side is at work. However, there are also elements in our behaviour where intelligence appears to follow a more elusive path, which cannot easily be characterised as a specific sequence of steps. Is Intelligence an Algorithm? offers an insight into intelligence as it functions in nature, like human or animal intelligence, but also sheds light on modern developments in the field of artificial intelligence, proposing further architectural solutions for the creation of a so-called global Webmind.

How do we understand the world around us? How do we solve problems? Often the answer to these questions follows a certain pattern, an algorithm if you wish...

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Providing an analysis of intelligence, this book questions how we understand the world around us, and how we solve problems. It not only explores the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence, but also provides tools to help the reader better organise their thoughts, and improve such skills as essay writing.    

Providing an analysis of intelligence, this book questions how we understand the world around us, and how we solve problems. It not only explores the burgeoning field...

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I’m a big fan of Antonin Tuynman's writing. I particularly like his willingness to marry far-future technology with ancient religious and philosophical thought, such as Vedanta. He is also one of the most adept futurists in exploring fringe concepts and ideas, from quantum computers to the Singularity and the Simulation hypothesis. His latest work caught me by surprise. Initially, I was a little disappointed that some of the cool tech concepts toned down. But, the payoff for me was that this is Antonin's most accessible work. It's not just accessible, it's practical. Instead of just discussing algorithms and intelligence, he gives you advice on how to use the information, including how these algorithms can improve your own reasoning abilities and memory skills. The book is also a primer if you're interested -- or worried about -- the coming wave of AI-driven technologies. Later, he does discuss the wider implications of his findings. All said, it's a must read for those thinking hard about the ever-increasing effect that intelligence and artificial intelligence will have on our lives and our future.

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A WOW! book by the digital philosopher Antonin Tuynman! Written for the lay audience in a clear and precise language, oftentimes in a matter-of-fact fashion, Thought-provoking, original and delightfully enlightening! It's one of those books that one can find insights on every page. In this book, Tuynman tries to define intelligence through the lens of digital philosophy, presents his well-grounded hypothesis that intelligence functions as a kind of algorithm, and gives us practical advice how to improve our own intelligence and problem-solving skills. In the last few chapters, that I personally find the most fascinating part of the book, the author goes more technical with clear-cut recommendations how to create artificial consciousness. Inspired by works of other prominent thinkers in the field, the author argues that emergence is the key to evolution towards higher complexity, and why sooner rather than later, we should see the emergence of self-aware Global Brain, Webmind. Besides being a great read that I could recommend to anyone, the book is referenced, cross-referenced and an excellent quick reference resource by itself.

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As a metaphysical artist, I found this book very stimulating. Mediating a middle path between metaphysics and A.I. so the each informs the other is a skillful trick to pull off. This author does it exceedingly well. I found validation for long held principles, new approaches to familiar ideas as well as entirely novel and lucid offerings. This book arrives at a time when boundaries between of materialist science, metaphysics and A.I. are merging into each other largely due to the advent of the internet, itself a macroscopic nervous system – also a notion explored in the book. Applying the language of A.I. to the topic of Consciousness is appropriate for the age we live in and this book does it very well. Guaranteed to generate a state change at a time when a new paradigm in our understanding of Consciousness is dawning. This book helped me to achieve clarity - science is for how, metaphysics is for why, and we need to ask both.

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As a researcher in data science and management area, for me reading Tuynman’s ‘ Is intelligence an Algorithm’ was a refreshing break from other books in similar domain which are usually dominated by mathematics or computer science . In contrast with them, Tuynman provides a holistic perspective backed by solid research, on various dimensions of intelligence and how nature, humans and now computers take an algorithmic approach to solve any old or new problems. Illustrated in lucid manner, there are multiple practical techniques and heuristics explained in the book which can be directly applied in our day to day lives. Among them a structured template for writing informative articles is something which I have already started to apply in my own works. It was interesting that author did gave enough stress on Emotional intelligence, as this is something which is usually not explained in detail in other books of this domain, but is important factor in almost all the decision making process of conscious beings . Authors take on Artificial Pathologies or computers gone wild as I like to call them, was interesting and amusing and touched the realm of science fiction, though it is getting very much real possibility day by day. The book does touches upon non-algorithmic activities like Intuition too, connecting it with topics like quantum mechanics and collective consciousness, but I think they could have been discussed in more detail given the complexity of those ideas. Overall I would recommend this book to all the readers who are interested in topics like consciousness , and how do we make sense of what is around us , and also want to explore the various aspects of problem solving skills in a structured format , either by humans or machines .

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Do you wish to improve your intelligence? Then we’ll first have to figure out what “intelligence” actually is. Join Antonin on a journey that starts with Nature’s ways to generate complexity. He will show you that from bacterial wisdom to the quagmire of human social interactions the same steps are followed to generate so-called “meta-system transitions”, where singleton entities organise into societies and finally into new emergent entities built there from. In this book he will not only dissect intelligence into elements of cognition, pattern recognition, reasoning, problem-solving and diversity generation, he will also venture into the more elusive realms of emotions and intuition. From these concepts he will provide strategies, heuristics and architectural plans to create a new generation of Artificial Intelligence. A conceptualisation of Artificial Consciousness and a blueprint for a quasi-conscious Artificial Webmind. And as a bonus he will provide you with tools. Tools to organise your thoughts, tools to solve any kind of problem, tools to navigate through the wild waves of our emotions. This is the abstraction of the dissecting knife of the intellect and the great integrator of cliques allowing to spawn a plethora of novel and inventive solutions which are screened and pruned to generate an apotheosis of ever increasing complexity. This is the book that reveals nature’s inherent simple algorithm to achieve complex goals in complex environments.

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I enjoyed reading Tuynman's this new book. Many essential topics for intelligence well-weaved together in a compact volume. Tuynman first goes about laying out what counts as algorithm. Then he draws its ramification for intellience in general, as well as for A.I.. He evetually moves on to discuss intuition as the sphere of intelligence not lending itself to an algorithmic construction. For Tuynman intuition reflects a vast entanglement working across collective consciousness of the human species, and as such it functions beyond the realm of algorithm. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to pick up some central issues of intelligence and consciousness and their relevance to A.I..

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Review by James Guy, December 12, 2017 Putting his treatise in the form of a question, rather than an ontological answer, Antonin Tuynman’s “Is Intelligence an Algorithm?” opens us all up to an inviting, progressively expanding, and enlightening journey, deep into the very “idea” of “intelligence” – deeper perhaps than those non-techies, like myself, might ordinarily have a “mind” to follow. Surprisingly, whatever our level of expertise, we’re at first unaware that his skillful literary means of bringing us along is itself the “algorithmic” or step-by-step unfolding of the work, delivering conclusions and prospects in the form of traceable mappings and similes, starting with “Nature’s Meta-system transition algorithm,” or its pre- and post- biotic evolutionary strivings to achieve “synergy” or “emergence,” which he summarizes as “The Seven-step algorithm of Intelligence.” From then on, the book is a whirlwind of examples raising “the question” into realms as diverse as “writing more informative articles,” solving “complex problems,” anticipating the future of AI applied to the architecture of a “Webmind,” and, God forbid, raising the question of AC or artificial consciousness, thus making full circle back to the “intuitive,” eureka or “non-algorithmic” moment that perhaps formed “the question” in the first place. The frontmatter of the book reveals that “Is Intelligence an Algorithm?” is perhaps only one volume in a trilogy of his work. And if the present volume is any example, he will be reinforcing each of those chapters by regularly citing professional friends and contemporaries, as well as those he calls “God fathers” of the topic, which by extension includes reference to the most ancient of resources, thus effectively kick-starting our mutual intellection, as well as intuition, into a transcendent as well as mundane “theory of mind,” perhaps even in our lifetime. Of the many ideas put forth in word, glyph, and diagram, one I had never heard of before was most informative, the word “feedforward,” which is perhaps the missing paradigm in my own heuristic philosophy of mind.

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