Hey /sci/, sorry to shit up your board with this, but this is what an autist has been thinking:
If intelligence emerges from a network of more elementary entities, can intelligence emerge from a network of sentient beings acting as elementary entities?
Two things I want to think about:
1. If we had 100 billion people arranged in such a way that they each acted as a single neuron, networked exactly the way the neurons in our brains are, could that entire grouping of people as one entity be sentient?
2. Could intelligence of varying levels emerge from people networked in constantly changing ways of communication? (I am not bound to talk to certain people and to recieve speech from certain people, they are constantly changing)
Could our world seen as one entity exhibit intelligence?
I know this whole buzz on intelligence in the media is annoying as fuck, so I don't blame you if this post triggers you
1. Society is an example of this. Each person does their own thing and has their own life. But as a whole society has an overall opinion, flow and effect on each other, other societies and cultures, and on the world. The internet has really helped this along too.
2. Not sure what you mean by this.
>Could our world seen as one entity exhibit intelligence?
All for one and one for all. While we are all single beings we are all of the same race and a single persons achievement effects the rest of humanity.
>2. Not sure what you mean by this.
As far as I naively know, the network in our brain is mostly static - neurons do not add new connections and cut off old ones, other than during development and through trauma of course, but it's mostly static. The communication between persons is extremely dynamic. Basically, in the analogy of people to neurons, I was thinking that that was a discrepency that argued against the analogy, and wondered if that would prevent a network of humans to be similar to a network of neurons.
neurons do write and re-write connections constantly and that's why you forget things, or never learn them. Brains that are better at making and maintaining connections are the ones we call "smart people". Such an immense amount of connections are made that they're only usually noticeable after development or trauma
On the other hand, human activity is neurotic and repetitive enough that these kinds of "society animals" do exist. It would be a psychology problem though, like how you can love vehicles when you're a child, and later on lose the interest and like technology instead, but the entire time it was "you"
Being that that animal is just the neighborhood, and you're witnessing it all happening right now anyway.
That makes me think I'm just one of the cells in my body, witnessing all this happening, and something made me think I was important enough to be the whole body. Well I'll take right now as my chance to say it, sorry guys. We're all in this together, just cause I'm the one who sees doesn't mean I'm the only one.
Might work if you also simulated an environment (and body) at a slower timescale for it to receive inputs from and act on. Of course, simply being made of lots of humans wouldn't make it smarter than a single human, since those humans would be just exhibiting the functionality of neurons.
I'm taking the example more literally than you meant it, right? A hive-brain that is intelligent in the same way as humans while acting and experiencing through entirely different modes, it's not something that's likely to emerge spontaneously. Not saying that about "intelligence" in general but about individual-human-like intelligence you can have a conversation with. The problem is how to define what group intelligence is and how to measure it.