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Archive for October 12th, 2005

language and intelligent

Language plays an integral part of our evaluation of intelligence. SAT, GMAT, IQ test, all of these have a heavy compoment of language comprehension. But many would also agree that there are smart people not capable of expressing themselves. While we never discount their intelligence, it begs the question of what role does language plays in determining ones intelligence.

Edith and I were disscusing this over Skype the other day. What spawned the discussion was a book called blink which talks about the value of instinct. The book was saying that instinct allow us to make quick judgement using ones experience, and such decision is actualy an analysis of enormous amount of selective datapoint that one determine was relerant from his/her experience.

Edith’s take on it was that it depends on wether the expert can tell us why he arrived at that decision, and what went on in his head. One thing that immediately came to mind was neural net. Neural net is a artificial intelligence technique where a network of adaptive gates are setup to learn the correlation of a dataset in order to produce some predetemined results. The result of such learning is a system that is can be used to predict future outcome without the need of constantly revising the model. The drawback is that one usually cannot understand any useful information from the result of this learning. So then does neural net not have any value then. Suppose there are two meteologist who tells you that a hurracine will or will not hit us. One was able to tell you how he arrived at the decision: the wind speed, the position of the moon, whatever it is; and the other one can only tell you that he draws it from his experience that it will not hit us. Without any track record, no doubt the first guy is preceived to be more accurate. Okay, then what if the first guy’s explaination is very cryptic and uses terms that you don’t understand, and the second guy uses layman’s terms like weather front and temperature differntial. This time its not as clear but i think we know the winner too. This seems to agree with our early conclusion that language and intelligent is two inseperatable skills. The better you are expressing yourself, the more intelligent you are preceived to be.

So it seems like training in language is as important as building technical expertise, and it is especailly important the more technical you grow.

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