Monday, January 7, 2019

Smart fish

Recent finding (1) that archerfish demonstrates facial recognition, likely over and above the most hyped up AI technology, is a constant reminder that humans are not very smart. Their Silicon infused technologies have led them astray and their ego has gotten them blind and incompetent. It is not the count of brain cells nor the ratio of the brain weight to that of the body weight that matters. It is how you use it and the human is the most unlikely candidate for efficient use of her endowment.

As the search, operating system and hardware monopolists with infinite access to capital prove that they can create racism on Twitter (as if that needed proof) and play games like no human has done before, it is important to be aware of basic notions of intelligence. It is not deep mind, however superb that "great," mind is playing star wars, it is not alpha go, however awesome a go player she really is, it is not deep blue, in spite of the domination of arbitrary chess boards and guess game in Jeopardy - intelligence has nothing to do with any of these games that old men and women play. The archerfish can recognize a human face from any angle without any evolutionary specialization and she has very few resources.

Humans appear to be held back because of their own progress. It is an oxymoron, for the contemporary crop seems to have forgotten what got them here. As the whales and parrots mimic human speech, as the great apes sit and wonder what has gone wrong with the universe, as the elephants visit the spot where their companion fell to mourn, as the pigs play and sleep together in a harmonious community, as the dolphins attempt to guide, as the dogs attempt to rationalize, as the octopus hide, as the squirrels save and as the crows make tools, we have a species that hate, kill and destroy their own habitat.

Not too smart.