What if the only purpose of the universe and the evolution of life was for the advancement of intelligence. Darwin was wrong, its not “survival of the fittest”, its “survival of the smartest”. The pursuit of advanced intelligence is our true purpose and will lead to answers to many of the biggest questions that currently challenge us. The Continuum of Intelligence is a roadmap for the journey towards advanced intelligence.


The purpose of this article is to help provide a mechanism or index to measure the progress of the field of artificial intelligence towards artificial general intelligence, super intelligence and beyond. There is much uncertainty as to when these milestones will be achieved, but without a measure of progress towards them, it becomes even more difficult to determine when they might occur. This article will not only provide an index of the continuum of intelligence in which to measure our progress to achieving advanced AI, but will also give a considered view on some related topics, such as consciousness, dreaming and personality. Much has been written on these topics from physicists, mathematicians, neuroscientists, philosophers and phycologists, but here I provide a computer scientist’s perspective.

This article provides a preview of my book, by the same title, to be released in 2018.


At almost every meeting and conference on AI most of us will at some stage be involved in a discussion on the definition of Artificial Intelligence. The reason for this is quite simple. As an industry we don’t have a universally accepted definition of AI [8]. Yes we have the Turing Test, but

this only provides one milestone on the journey towards advanced artificial intelligence. It does not define what intelligence is, or even specify the elements of intelligence. When two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions [2,7]. The problem is much wider than just the field of Artificial Intelligence. The study of the brain and consciousness, with thousands of research papers from the field of psychology and neuroscience, still does not have a single universally accepted definition of consciousness.

As we continue to develop more and more intelligent systems, not having a single universally accepted definition of intelligence will become more problematic for a number of different reasons, not least when we consider the legal and ethics aspects of the systems we build.

We have been asking the wrong question. We should not be trying to find a single definition of artificial intelligence or even just intelligence, but with the understanding that there is a range of intelligent capabilities, we should be looking to define the range of intelligent behaviours. There already is much work in the space to help define theoretical frameworks for intelligence. From the MIT Centre for Brains, Minds and Machines “Understanding intelligence and the brain requires theories at different levels, ranging from the biophysics of single neurons, to algorithms and circuits, to overall computations and behaviour, and to a theory of learning. In the past few decades, advances have been made in multiple areas from multiple perspectives.” [11]

This leads us to potentially complicated frameworks, that leverage the different fields of research to describe them. This becomes somewhat of a impediment to its common use as they are not singularly aligned to the approaches and language used by those using and developing machine intelligence. This article rectifies this, by constructing a detailed but simple definition of the different levels of intelligence on the journey to super intelligence and the singularity. This index of intelligence, or continuum, will have the greatest benefit to describe the different types of artificial intelligence application and systems being designed and built. The index is aimed to help those researching and developing artificial intelligence algorithms, topologies and applications, in describing the capabilities of the technique, and essentially to make it easier to compare methods in terms of their abilities.

Read the full article at http://andypardoe.com/framework-continuum/

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