18 March 2006

G Makes the World Go Round


Hat tip to Kevin at Intelligence Testing (IQ Corner) for linking to this exceptional review article by CF Chabris on the cognitive and neurobiological underpinnings of "g", general intelligence. The article came to Kevin via GNXP blog. Here are links to other articles by Chabris.

The timing of Kevin's posting was fortuitous for me, as I am currently reading the book Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era by Plomin et al, which contains several chapters on related topics. I enjoy reading about topics that interest me from the perspective of several disciplines simultaneously, if possible.

For those new to the topic, I recommend reading this introduction by Linda Gottfredson first, then the review article above. Here is a gentle introduction to the genetic basis of intelligence which takes a very evenhanded approach to the nature-nurture debate. This is a discussion of intelligence as it may relate to human similar or human equivalent machine intelligence, and other non-human intelligence, from the viewpoint of a singularitarian at the Singularity Institute. The author takes the viewpoint that a machine intelligence will be the first "superintelligence" that humans encounter. He discusses the possible fallout from that encounter. Here is the Singinst.org description of levels of organization of general intelligence.

If the mean IQ in the developed world were ten points lower, it would not be the developed world that we know. Hospitals would be far more primitive, scientific research would be at a very retarded stage in comparison with modern science, there would not be enough intelligent engineers and technicians to maintain our complex technologies. G makes the world go around.

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