Simulating artificial general intelligence has appeared to be a harder problem than previously thought []: progress in the field of machine learning has proven to be insufficient to complete this challenge. This article suggests a way in which ‘intelligence’ can be simulated, arguing an evolutionary approach is at least one option among possibly a number of other ones.

What we as humans define as intelligence is hard to put into words. If one would ask around to see how people define this term they would logically end up with varying answers, as is the case for probably all concepts. Still, the word ‘intelligence’ is a relatively broad concept when compared to other ones.

Without agreeing on one definition, one can not easily simulate intelligence artificially so that all spectators would agree that it is: usually, we all think a different set of facets of human behaviour can be attributed to ‘intelligence’, although they might be similar []. Notice, however, that it is human behaviour, that embeds something that we usually associate with intelligence. When we call other creatures intelligent, like elephants or dolphins, it is usually because we recognize human-like behaviour in theirs. So it seems like people generally attribute the term ‘intelligence’ to what humans have and other creatures have considerably less of. It is clear that humans, who do not have phenomenal physical abilities were able to survive for a large part because of their intelligence [].

If this definition is considered, it logically follows that intelligence would be possible to simulate by in turn simulating digital creatures to have this same aspect. Namely, in nature, the reason for a creature to have certain characteristics will be either or both because of natural selection and sexual selection.

To generate these agents one could in principle code these agents from the ground up. Nevertheless, this is equivalent to attempting to build intelligence from the ground up which means you should understand how it works (and somewhat defeats the purpose of trying to simulating it). Next, one could let evolution do the work and use a nature simulation to try to develop intelligent digital ‘life’. For this option, too, there are complications. Namely, to evolve intelligent life digitally in a copy of our natural system would firstly be scientifically impossible as it would require a complete understanding of nature and humankind simply is not as far yet. Secondly,…

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