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Dmytry_Lavrov comments on My Childhood Role Model - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 May 2008 08:51AM

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Comment author: Dmytry_Lavrov 02 December 2008 08:33:00PM 0 points [-]

Hmm.
If you look at basic physical structure of brain, all mammals are quite close, mouse and Einstein.

If you look at basic computationally intensitive abilities (object recognition, navigation, etc) there is not much difference between humans and chimps at all; even mouse is rather close. If you look at language and other social stuff, Einstein and some average dude are quite close and chimp is significantly behind.
If you look at ability for doing theoretical physics, or perhaps on the complexity of concepts that intelligence can come up with, however, Einstein is far ahead of some average dude. And some average dude is at same level with chimp and mouse.
Thing is, humans, generally speaking, almost entirely lack any innate capacity for doing things such as theoretical physics, or innate capacity to develop such abilities. A small restructuring of brain, combined with years of training, translates into huge difference comparing to typical ability (which is very close to zero).

Its entirely subjective how to weight those abilities to make x coordinate for a chart.
Some people feel that a lot of weight must be given to construction of extremely complex, highly consistent constructs (like in mathematics). That puts Einstein far to the right, and typical human somewhere near mouse and chimp.

Some people feel that a lot of weight must be given to verbal abilities, which puts Einstein somewhere close to typical human, and chimp significantly to the left.

Some people feel that a lot of weight must be given to visual recognition and such. This puts Einstein, typical human, and chimp very close together.

There is a lot of good arguments that can be made why each of those choices makes most sense.
For example, human dominance as species and power that humans have over environment is largely due to inventions made by some highly capable individuals; without those inventions biologically we'd be not much more powerful than other predators hunting in packs. It is argument for putting Einstein and the like far to the right, and chimp and average human relatively close together. Or for exaple you can say that you're concerned only with some sort of "algorithmic complexity" or "computational complexity" and do not care about dominance as species, and make argument in favour of second or third.