Follow project on Twitter
NederlandsEnglish

3.7. Other sources of intelligence

Language is not the only source of intelligence. Animals like dolphins, crows and chimpanzees show intelligent behavior regarding to spacial information. So, spacial information is another source of logical information (intelligence). An example:

If a room has only one entrance, and there are no temporary entrances, and there is an object inside that room, then we can conclude: Either that room is built around that object, or that object must have entered the room through that one entrance. So, if we see a classical miniature ship in a bottle, and this bottle has no temporary entrances like a separate bottom, either the bottle is built around that ship, but more likely, the ship has entered the bottle through the bottleneck.

More derived spacial information: The miniature ship consists of multiple components, leaving the audience in awe which of those components were already attached, and which were attached later on. (But its party trick is of course the unfolding of the masts and sails.)

Creating a miniature ship in a bottle requires capabilities of natural intelligence, like grouping, separating, planning and probably also learning from mistakes. Not only the creator, but also the audience watching the end result, will need capabilities of natural intelligence in order to analyze the problems involved with this peculiar object. A curious person who sees a miniature ship in a bottle for the first time, will not just say “nice” and walk away. Apparently, the laws of nature involved with spacial information are already present in the brain. They will trigger the brain of a curious person when the spacial information doesn’t add up.

Illusionists are masters in hiding aspects of spacial information, by which the spacial information visible to the audience doesn’t add up: Objects seem to appear and disappear without visible action taken.

I like the artwork of M.C. Escher. He understood the logical structures of spatial information very well. In his artwork, Escher plays with the outer lines of objects like birds and fish. In other artwork, Escher deliberately applied the logical structures of spatial information in a wrong way, by which this artwork seems 'wrong'. Brilliant!

Objects like birds and fish structured in artwork, are like keywords structured in a sentence.

A lot of daily activities – like anticipation in traffic and sports – require capabilities of natural intelligence in order to process a lot of spacial information in a fraction of a second. It includes capabilities like grouping, separating, planning, foreseeing and learning from mistakes. Experience (training) helps to use as much spacial information as possible within a short time frame. In self-driving cars and trucks, the processing of spacial information is more and more automated to our benefit. In fact, these are also artificial implementations of natural intelligence (within a limited domain). Prefix “self” in “self-steering” refers to the natural origin of the spacial information.