Technology 3 min read

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences and AI

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One of the most commonly used methods of measuring human intelligence is the IQ test. However, this approach has received widespread criticism due to its perceived inability to capture the whole gamut of elements that determines human intelligence.

A critic of the IQ test, Dr. Howard Gardner, proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. According to him, IQ tests have little relevance in reality. He denies there is general intelligence, and his theory instead suggests the presence of separate domains of ability.

Dr. Howard Gardner, proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983.Click To Tweet

The 9 Types of Intelligence

Gardner describes the nine types of intelligence:

1. Naturalist intelligence

With this humans distinguish animals from plants and understand natural features. Our hunter and gatherer ancestors needed this knowledge to survive in the wild.

2. Musical intelligence

This intelligence allows us to compose, recognize and appreciate music. With this intelligence, we discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.

3. Logical-mathematical Intelligence

This type of intelligence is required to do shopping calculations and learn new equations. Recognizing patterns, thinking logically, reasoning, and some abstract thought requires this type of intelligence.

multiple intelligences
Dr. Howard Gardner |

4. Existential Intelligence

Questioning human existence seems to interest some people more than others. Considering mortality and life’s purpose fall under the umbrella of existential intelligence.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence

The ability to understand and interact with others is a human intelligence. People with this intelligence are sensitive to changing mood and temperament of others and adapt accordingly.

6. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence

This is the ability to manipulate objects and express physical skills. This skill is essential for surgeons, athletes, etc.

7. Intra-personal intelligence

Intra-personal intelligence is the ability to understand one’s thoughts and feelings and use them to plan. This covers the general understanding of self as well as people in general.

8. Spatial intelligence

This is the ability to think in three-dimensions through core skills such as mental imagery, spatial reasoning, active imagination, and other related abilities.

9. Linguistic Intelligence

In short, this is the ability to articulate expression. Someone with a high linguistic intelligence always seems to choose the right words when conveying information.

What do These Intelligences Mean for AI?

Deep learning neural networks more and more resemble the human brain. AI programmers will not be required to write a complete program. Instead, they feed the AI with an algorithm and input data.  After learning from the data, the AI can consider multiple conclusions and use each to inform the best possible outcome.

If deep learning is similar to the human brain, the theory of multiple intelligences will undoubtedly have implications for AI. Likely, recognition of these multiple intelligences in AI will unfold as neural networks become more advanced and human-like. For companies like Arago who are developing a more general-purpose AI, the construction of these intelligences may be an important step. Perhaps the best way to train the AI of the future is to enable tenants of the multiple intelligences from abstract thinking to interpersonal skills.

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