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Meeting #2

Friday, 2/18/2022

View the meeting recording here. Note that the audio quality is poor at times.

Table of contents

  1. Agenda
  2. Resources
  3. Notes
    1. Characteristics of Intelligence
    2. Projects
    3. Project Suggestions


  1. Take a team photo!
  2. Presentation on project guidelines, timeline, and member expectations;
  3. Polling what members are most interested in learning about;
  4. Break into groups by topic, assign presentations; propose project ideas that could incorporate that project;
  5. Brainstorm principles and requirements of a generally intelligent system;
  6. Discuss possibility of a journal club;
  7. Solicit personal information to put on the website



Characteristics of Intelligence

  • Creativity (what is creativity)?
    • Procedural
    • Randomness as creativity (e.g. random vector inputs to GANs or VAEs)
    • Novelty of strategy
    • Abstractions
  • Meta-knowledge, self-identity, self actualization
  • Organisms do not necessarily take immediate action for their survival
    • Long term planning as an indication of intelligence
    • Anticipating or forecasting consequences or rewards
  • Trauma and intelligence - trauma has been shown to impede brain structure.
  • Is intelligence static? Can smart people be dumb in the moment?
  • Is intelligence a scale, a ball? How many dimensions of intelligence are relevant?
  • Transferability across environments
  • Parasites and hijacking
    • Get into hosts and change the structure of the brain or the body to benefit themselves
    • Who is smarter: the parasite or the person / host?
  • Replika
  • Example of people in real life falling in love with code – is this code intelligent? What does it understand?
  • Concepts of slavery and servitude
    • Robot - originating from Slavic for slave
  • Race After Technology book recommendation
  • Using the environment as a metric or indication of intelligence
  • Communication and intelligence
    • Empathy could be useful for intelligence
    • Teaching as one metric or indication of intelligence
  • Is it possible to be intelligent without action? Yes – paraplegics for example. Is it possible to become intelligent without ever taking actions?
  • Role of central nervous system in intelligence
    • Organisms without CNS can still make decisions, ie fungi choose which route to take for food
    • Changes the time scale of action due to electrical properties
    • Are trees intelligent
      • We can’t know certain things, can never experience the perspective of the tree, can never know the experience of others
      • Standpoint epistemology as it relates to understanding intelligence
      • Is the neocortex necessary or helpful for intelligence?
    • Is emotional intelligence necessary or helpful – socialization
      • Rate of information transfer between individuals as a hallmark of human intelligence


  • We’re a project-based club!
  • Goals - learning, presenting about topics we know about, designing, principles that govern what we want to make
  • Member Expectations
    • Let’s actually do stuff!
    • Projects and tasks - if you are assigned to do a task and you have difficulties, be communicative - inform project leaders and communicate!
  • We still have a lot to learn - we don’t know exactly where to go with a project.
  • We will identify topics we want to identify and research more deeply in groups of 2 to 3 people
    • After presenting on these topics and suggesting several projects for each, we will narrow down which we will work on

Project Suggestions

  • Libraries available for us to use
    • For example, TF, Keras, NumPy
  • Biologically plausible neural networks
    • e.g. Spiking neural networks, Hebbian learning
  • Biologically/neurologically informed neural networks/computational structures
    • Eusociality
  • Meta-modeling, meta cognitive networks
  • Swarm intelligence of robotics or coded agents
  • Simulated training for robotics/reinforcement learning settings - translation into the physical world.
  • Cybernetic enhancement - using neural networks to enhance the properties of biological entities
    • e.g. Neuralink

I2 - Fusing neuroscience and AI to study intelligent computational systems. Contact us at