The Problem with Intelligence

Stephen Cave
2020 Proceedings of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society  
This paper argues that the concept of intelligence is highly value-laden in ways that impact on the field of AI and debates about its risks and opportunities. This value-ladenness stems from the historical use of the concept of intelligence in the legitimation of dominance hierarchies. The paper first provides a brief overview of the history of this usage, looking at the role of intelligence in patriarchy, the logic of colonialism and scientific racism. It then highlights five ways in which
more » ... e ways in which this ideological legacy might be interacting with debates about AI and its risks and opportunities: 1) how some aspects of the AI debate perpetuate the fetishization of intelligence; 2) how the fetishization of intelligence impacts on diversity in the technology industry; 3) how certain hopes for AI perpetuate notions of technology and the mastery of nature; 4) how the association of intelligence with the professional class misdirects concerns about AI; and 5) how the equation of intelligence and dominance fosters fears of superintelligence. This paper therefore takes a first step in bringing together the literature on intelligence testing, eugenics and colonialism from a range of disciplines with that on the ethics and societal impact of AI.
doi:10.1145/3375627.3375813 dblp:conf/aies/Cave20 fatcat:oql2b6dvfzebtk5j57jejtks3i