Behavioral Intelligence: The next leap in AI

3 minute read

Today’s hype around the ChatGPTs and other demonstrations of verbal intelligence will be a memory shared only amongst the boomers of the next generation. The GenZ equivalents of then won’t even know what a boomer is. A new era of AI would have cast its long shadow on the entirety of the historical brilliance of the human species. And it would be a product of revolutions in Artificial Behavioral Intelligence (ABI).

Revolutions in behavioral intelligence will make current generation AI tech look like a boring school project. The various domains that need to be mapped out and systematized in order to achieve convincing behavioral intelligence are profound. It would necessitate vast advancements in both our understanding of the mechanics of our own behavior and our ability to codify and automate it.

The existence of beings that exhibit intelligent behavior will fundamentally alter the dynamics of human machine relationships. There will arise a prospect for deep emotionality in our relationship with machines. We could essentially engage in evolving relationships with objects, much like with human beings.

Now the question arises as to whether such an intelligent object could even be fairly labeled as an object. Could intelligent behavior mandate sentience? Could sentience be synthesized?

Personally, my mind is set to get into this. I know how to advance our progress in this regard owing to my own personal study of the underlying domains. We cannot get anywhere without advancing in our understanding of our own subjective nature. In my view no thorough existential examination can happen without first examining the depth of our subjectivity. After all, it is the basis for the perception of this very sentence by anyone capable of understanding this sentence. Our very perception is reliant on our instruments of subjectivity. We understand the world through our relationship with it. Without the ‘I’, there is no subjectivity. And without subjectivity, there is no behavior.

As I understand it, we must model a subjective entity across three broad domains - perceptual, cognitive and behavioral. The intelligent aspect that shows in any form of ABI is the behavior. But intelligence in behavior cannot exist without intelligence in perception and cognition. And the thread of essence that connects these domains is the subjectivity of the entity.

Crafting subjectivity requires deep study of our own subjectivity. It is an irony that the average technologist of today is more likely to be disconnected from deep study of one’s inner nature than not.

Many readers may be mistaken about what constitutes “deep study of our own subjectivity”. It doesn’t entail philosophical musing or reflection. It entails deep observation. A deep, motionless observation of the underlying mechanism of our own subjectivity. A study so intense that there is a clear separation between you as the observer and all mechanisms that constitute our perception, cognition and behavior. Language itself fails at that level. And only a long-standing presence of that separation can establish a fluency in our individual ability to craft subjectivity.

Broadly, ABI will also require assimilation and coexistence of multiple modalities of information. The coherence of multimodal perception will require processing these streams of information concurrently at all times.

Could the addition of more modalities or streams significantly increase the dimensional complexity of the behavior the entity exhibits? Theoretically, such an entity could evolve into such complexity in its understanding of reality because it can exist in perpetuity through a potentially infinite parts upgrades. It’s primary data stream would be so vast that any average modern day human would seem like an insect in comparison.

The consideration of the potentially extra multimodal nature of behavior will help the case for why this is so profound. Imagine a being that can act with intent across continents all at once, in perfect synchrony, dynamically adapting to the evolving environment. This will be the impact of advancements in ABI.

All this talk of the complexity of synthetic intelligence brings to attention the very complexity of the natural intelligence that exists already. We as humans can already act cohesively across continents with collective intent. Plants have their own networks of roots that make up a forest, an entire being of its own. Our atmosphere and all the entities in it all operate intelligently in response to everything else. There is nearly a totality of intelligence that surrounds us every moment. Even where our senses cannot reach. And we collectively coexist in this vast intelligence.

Natural intelligence is so advanced, profound and pervasive that it makes behavioral intelligence look like the musings of an ant. And yet, it is a mountain much ahead of us.


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