A Separate Kind of Intelligence
Alison Gopnik: It looks as if there’s a general relationship between the very fact of childhood and the fact of intelligence. That might be informative if one of the things that we’re trying to do is create artificial intelligences or understand artificial intelligences. In neuroscience, you see this pattern of development where you start out with this very plastic system with lots of local connection, and then you have a tipping point where that turns into a system that has fewer connections but much stronger, more long-distance connections. It isn’t just a continuous process of development. So, you start out with a system that’s very plastic but not very efficient, and that turns into a system that’s very efficient and not very plastic and flexible. It’s interesting that that isn’t an architecture that’s typically been used in AI. But it’s an architecture that biology seems to use over and over again to implement intelligent systems. One of the questions you could ask is, how come?