IQ tests measures one’s ability to think like a computer: they mostly measure working memory, reasoning ability towards a solution for which there exists an absolutely correct answer, and speed of reasoning. IQ tests don’t measure confidence, creativity, or social skills.

Everybody knows this of course, or should, but I’m just framing up the background. Moreover, most people know that a high IQ is not a predictor or success in work or life (and I’d suggest, extremely high IQs might often predict the opposite, wrt to relationships particularly.)

Now, with my completely non-scientific research (personal observation), I’d propose this: the best predictor of success? hubris, or in some of gentler fields, extreme confidence.

So why, why, would any of us care about measuring a set of human abilities that have little to do with success or happiness?

Well, if we look at this from the art-perspective, it works like this: the creative development of the past century has been focused on building computing machines- so it’s no wonder that we humans have been really interested in observing and measuring these specific cognitive abilities so that we could copy them into our computing machines. Cognitive abilities are useful towards a few specific ends- but they are not creativity, or conscience, or confidence.

This is the same reasoning I’d use to suggest that I think we’re nowhere near to having a silicon-based AI that functions like it does in scifi.  The aspects of ourselves that we’ve been measuring through things like IQ tests, and then replicating through computing are some of the less-complex aspects of “intelligence” – lacking a broad enough word I’m using this one. They are some of the less complex aspects of human-ness.  The massive remainder of what makes us creators and makers and developers is uncaptured in the simplistic measurement tools we have.


Posted by:Brook DeLorme

5 replies on “Creativity, confidence, conscience

  1. Just reflection here. IQ has lost value as an intelligence indicator. It’s a thermometer model for what you also recognize is a sea urchin of intelligences. Always appreciate your short thoughtful posts, Brook. No need to respond.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. A skill artificial intelligence can’t do: observe a phenomenon in the world, go out and research it, develop a theory or story around it, compose a written piece.

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