Human / Machine


What we are today is the result of millions of years of evolution. Other animals too are evolving from millions of years and perhaps before than humans were born. Then, why is that we only consider Human as supreme intelligent being but not those pre-historic animals? It is believed that cockroach existed before humans and seems like they are going to survive in case we also get extinct. Then, why cockroach is not considered as intelligent being since it has survived all apocalypse till date.

Intelligence is relatively simple term for humans to understand and perceive as its very definition revolves around the basic characterists of we humans. But we would struggle to formally define and measure intelligence qualitatively for other beings. I think we consider human as intelligent being since we are constantly evolving, changing, developing, adapting, dreaming, believing, enduring and most importantly surviving. Each year many animals and plants get extinct as they are unable to cope with the environment. But we have always survived and are always seeking ideas to save our human race for extinction. “Mission Mars”, “Dooms day seed vault” and “Astroids Colony”  are some futurist example where humans are trying to continue human race if our home earth doesn’t suffice our needs.

Each human beings start their journey from zygote (combination of male and female gamete). From a simple cellular organism to an infant after evolving 9 months in mothers womb, human learn to breath air, cry and see the world. From the time infants are born, they develope face recognition capabilities to recognize their mothers, use hands to grab things. These are the basic tasks that human infants do when they are just born and these tasks are trivial for humans infants. In few months, they start to crawl and in next few months they start to walk in two feet. These tasks require immense learning for those childs. We humans are born to learn, recognize and survive. So, learning these tasks are fundamental to our survival and we are designed to do so.

Starting with adulthood, we take a different approach to learning and acquiring knowledge. We choose more specific domain to learn like Arts, Science, Sports, Films, Agriculture, Social work and many more. Then in late 20s we become more specific about the field we want for rest of our life. Some choose to be a Painter, Writer, Football player, Chemist, Physicist, Number Theorist, Director, Farmer, Truck driver, Computer scientist, Doctor, Human rights activist, Journalist, Mountain Climber, Chef and much more. Then we indulge in these fields or profession for rest of our lives.

Now lets consider a scenario, where we ask a Journalist to extend the “Big Bang theory” in light of  Higgs-boson particle recently discovered in LHC (Large Hadron Collider). First of all the journalist might not be interested in all these meta-physic stuffs. If interested it might take that journalist many years to understand the theory governing the higgs particle and big bang theory. The journalist has learned to recognize faces, understand human language and emotions, speak, walk and discover patterns during his/her childhood, But why it will take the journalist that many years to simply learn about fundamental physics on big bang theory and Higgs particle. The simple answer is “we were designed and evolved in such a way that these primitive operations are hardcoded in our brain neural paths ways”. These primitive actions were fine tuned during our evolution of million years. Thus, we are able to understand language and emotions , and recognize patterns and trends.

From the above scenario, we can conclude that except the few extraordinary learning pathways for primitive humans actions, we require very long time to be skillful and expert in some specific domain and will require paramount effort to switch domains. Then for all this long, we considered humans as intelligent beings for the ability that has been encoded in our genes through evolution.


Machine here in this article refers to “Computational Machines” or computer or robots.

Machines are just 60 years old and has evolved in great deal. Though machine still struggle in the basic activities performed by humans (recognition, speech and mobility) but are ahead of humans in specific domain (Single players Games, Mathematical Computation, processing and maintaining huge information). Then does it imply that machine are intelligent as of humans? I don’t think so. As, the definition of intelligence is biased for describing humans attributes, machine can never be intelligent like human beings. Comparing the intelligence quote of humans and machines is like comparing an eagle and a shark : Eagle has a different environment and survival instincts where as shark a different one. Likewise, machine has a different environment and identity whereas humans have their own.

Human vs Machine

But I think we can develope a common ground to compare humans and machines but seeing the positive impact that they have brought to this world.

I will be discussing about the comparison metric/test to compare humans and machine in next post. Please stay tuned.

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