Thursday, March 20, 2008

Intelligence as Reactive Behavior

So, the difference between programmed and unprogrammed action is in reactivity. It is not behavioral change simpliciter, because programming can change behavior, over time intervals for example. It is behavioral change caused by changes in the external situation, (external to the behavior generating component) but not just by any aspect of the external change. Plants can change their growing patterns because of changes in the environment, if we fertilize them for example. .I can be walking along and fall into a hole, these are not intelligent reactions to the external world, they are mechanical or biochemical reactions. Reactive, information based, behavior is required for intelligence. But is this enough? Clearly not, my computer meets this standard, and it does not seem at all intelligent..

Is motive, intention, desire required for intelligent behavior? We think these half the causal nexus for human action, some of the non-specific excitation required for behavior. What do or would non- biological system, putative agents, require? Syntactic behavior at least requires a plan, a model or some other overall control or directive to determine the course of the behavior. It would seem generally to require some representation or formulation of an end state, though whether or not his is a goal is another question. If the behavior has no end state marker or criteria then it goes on forever until the system fails or runs out of energy. It could have a mechanical stop, the arm pushes out until it reaches a wall for example. But purely mechanical limits on behavior would tend to put it out of the cognitive realm.

So the first component of the external analysis of the concept of intelligence or since it is an external judgment , of intelligent behavior, is the bifurcation between the internal and the external, where the external is not necessarily the external world but rather the world external to the supposed cognitive unit of the system under consideration. The behavior must be reactive and reactive in an information sensitive manner. Secondly the behavior must be end state determinate, even if that end state is a continuous ongoing process or condition. What else is required? Variability, if you can only do one thing you aren’t or al least need not be very smart.

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