On awareness

Awareness has to proceed intelligence, if there’s no awareness there’s no intelligence even if the awareness comes from the observer.


Why so? Is a dog aware? How about a gold fish?

Awareness, as I defined it, is the running “I don’t know”, that is the amount of uncertainty which accompanies the brain’s constant predictions. On the other hand, intelligence is directly proportional with the depth of our future’s horizon, how far into the future can we see?

I think a dog is aware, but less aware than a human. A gold fish is aware, but less aware than the dog. Their intelligence level allow for short term predictive guesswork and are highly dependent on learned behavior.

Take a pet for example. They wait on their owners to come home every single day. There is a level of awareness about what is going on that sometimes looks amazing: my dogs know weekends from weekdays, they anticipate when we’ll take them in a trip and so on. But none of my dogs will doubt the order that they’re in: this is how it is and they settle for it.

Awareness is connected to intelligence, but not preceeded by it. There can be intelligence without awareness, a child is the best example. A child is highly intelligent but because it has not learned enough about the extent of the environment their awareness levels are low: uncertainty is low, the schedule is the schedule, parents are parents, home is home and playground is playground. A child’d awareness rises in play when the game’s effect of imaginary world building increases the amount of uncertainty.