Mirrors of Intelligence

Our obsession with the parallels between human and machine intelligence.

Abstract image of a mirr

Key Points

  • The development of AI has often drawn inspiration from discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive science, creating a synergy between understanding biological and artificial intelligence.
  • Metaphors help elucidate AI concepts but risk oversimplifying the vast complexity of possible minds. Equating brains and AI can bound our conception of intelligence.
  • Through the act of engineering AI, we continue to find mirrors reflecting back truths about our own minds and intelligence. But we must tread carefully when extrapolating between carbon and silicon.
  • The collaboration between neuroscience, cognitive science, and AI promises continued revelations as we create machines that think and act increasingly like ourselves. But we must remain open to intelligence taking wildly diverse forms.

Physicist Richard Feynman famously said, “what I cannot create, I do not understand.” This concept has played an important role at the intersection of cognitive sciences and AI. It has a history and a notable synergy. As humans make machines that think more like us, we inadvertently find clues that mirror the complexities of our own minds. 

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