Fearing or embracing the evolution of the relationship between man and machine is an interesting balance indeed, and one that makes me wonder about the human perception of ‘intelligence’.

The question I pose is this: Is it the intelligence we fear, or the comparison to our own ineffectiveness? Note that I didn’t use a negative slant on intelligence there, but it would be remiss of me to gloss over the fact that we have got innately lazy due to advances in technology allowing us to be.

As a species we’re knowledge hungry and thanks to the internet we can find out pretty much anything we want, anywhere we want, simply at the touch of a button.

The average IQ of the human race is increasing by around 3 points over each decade, as explained by James Flynn in this Ted Talk (which is fascinating if you have a spare 15 minutes). It is a fact that humans are becoming more intelligent. The genius IQ of Einstein at 160 is looking less advanced and though it hasn’t been exhaustively proven, this rise in intelligence is in part down to technology having given us the ability to access, compile and remember information and knowledge in a more readily accessible way.

It would seem we embrace the rise of our intelligence, yet fear the systems that support this growth as they become ever more automated, more intuitive, more… artificial.

When we couple intelligence with an artificial brain, suddenly the very thing that aids us now threatens us, therefore I believe that for the masses the line between security and insecurity with intelligence lies with where the power is.

At the end of the day, the evolution of the world as we know it is down to human intelligence. It’s far more likely that intelligence systems will frustrate us whilst following our orders, because it’s not quite what we would have done or how we would have gone about it, than it is they will consciously rise up against us.

Today we have parameters in place that allow governance of intelligence to require human input, even if as small as the push of a button to confirm a query or automation. It is up to us to remove that decision and make it artificially enabled.

So what tomorrow holds in this next era of man and machine working together, is down to us.

In my view we should stop thinking about what parameters we put around intelligence and instead start thinking about what objectives we might set for it.

160 you say? Let’s beat that.


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I'm an agent of change, an explorer of territory unclaimed, I love to experiment, if something hasn't been done then I love to find a way of doing it. New and shiny things excite me.

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