This is me trying to start thinking about my own understanding of intelligence.
My idea is that maybe the basic capabilities of intelligent systems are less numerous and complex than most people think. Maybe its starts with a basic ability that even a worm or an insect has, and that just gets elaborated on and scaled up all the way to humans.
A worm has to do some things that are actually pretty smart when you compare them with the abilities of the average computer:
- integrate fairly arbitrary patterns of sensory information from its environment with a time dimension
- use this information to determine the actions that will most likely lead to a desired set of sensory patterns in the future
In other words, it has to, for example, move in the direction of a scent to obtain food.
My theory is that perhaps the worm must be intelligent in order to do this and that the difference between worm intelligence and human intelligence might just be a matter of something like being able to handle more complex sensory relationships over greater time spans and also having more built-in patterns for predicting the correct actions and integrating senses.