Multiplying the intelligences does not say what unites them
By reducing the scope of IQ to appreciate intelligence, and by multiplying its varieties, has we not aggravated the opacity that surrounds the concept? Indeed, by what are the different intelligences brought together? If we specialize them too much, should we not already recognize that, in some areas, machines are far beyond us?
Remains the G factor,the general intelligence, surviving the unified concept. The G factor predicts the results of mental fitness tests regardless of their content. Its reality is discussed, some making it a statistical artifact, in defiance of everyday experience: we easily discriminate between bulb strippers and patent idiots, the former remarkably unscrambling any type of problem.
An altitude gain
But all this still does not tell us what intelligence is. We see its effects. Let’s focus on what they have in common. Intelligence creates a distance between mental perceptions and synthesis. Split between two levels of information, data and representation. The elementary engine of intelligence is not an attitude but an altitude on things. Engine independent of the subject treated.
If it is an altitude, why and how does it vary in individuals? How to link this functional notion to neural physiology? A notion that brings us back to that of consciousness. No self-observation without taking off a contingent of thoughts over others. The very sophisticated human consciousness appears only perched on a powerful general intelligence. IQ is a poor index, relative to the average in humans. It must be measured against other animal brains, of different sizes and organizations. Some have specialized centers far superior to ours. It is therefore not this specialization that makes the final intelligence, but the reprocessing and integration of their results into additional networks of the brain.
The amount of neurons is not a critical parameter. Juvenile brains with normal pressure hydrocephalus contain barely 10% of the usual number of neurons and yet develop average intelligence. Successive levels of reprocessing play the preponderant role. Intelligence and consciousness are not just thoughts that examine others. It is a repetitive and innumerable stack of these planes of micro-consciousness that extends and thickens the field of intelligence. While slowing down the mind compared to the simple reflex. Thinking well is not synonymous with thinking fast.
We can now relate intelligence to the height of the conceptual stack supporting one category of perception to connect it to others. Each main type of data is assigned a variety of intelligence. The G factor is the general ease of neural networks to add additional levels. This ability is modeled by graph theory. Neural symbolism is based on the vertices they occupy in the graph. The graphs are nested in several stages of physiological information, from the synapse to the synchronous neural group.
Intelligence is a principle independent of the nature of the information processed
Philosophers want to associate it with ethics, because it would be necessary to recognize the presence of others and the world to find the necessary distance for intelligence. Certainly. But this recognition began long before the emergence of social and moral concepts. It is found in sensory afferents, already separated into intrinsic and extrinsic corporeals. Making ethics a progenitor of intelligence is anthropocentric and reductive. Psychopaths develop acute intelligence despite an atrophied moral sense. This deficiency does not prevent us from modeling the behavior of others and manipulating them.
A more important faculty than ethics to differentiate within intelligence is decision. Indeed, the rise of intelligence means the integration of data from multiple horizons. The task is difficult when they are qualitatively distant. Weighing together feelings, reasons, finances? How do I subtract letters from numbers? Hesitation wins and drags on. Amautering data is not enough; they must be classified and prioritized. The experiment traces neurological highways and accelerates the decision. But secondarily locks it into inelastic stereotypes. Mental strength training is sustained by the constant influx of new data that refuses to take the usual routes.
Not in the simple exchange of a meme, identically stored data configuration. The mental weave that generated it must be transferred. Part of conceptual stack, which can be accommodated if the foundations are already present in the host mind. Intelligence is easily divided between minds raised in a similar way, difficult for those who left on other bases or do not have one.
But the G factor makes it possible to build or rebuild. The understanding of its physiological determinants, in our future, will finally give access to expertise to minds who believe they already possess it.