How Clever Are You Really? Scientists Can Now Accurately Measure Human Intelligence

This could lead to the creation of truly intelligent AI.

19/07/2016 10:10

How clever do you think you are? Normally we would try and define such a benchmark using something like the IQ test.

However a new MRI scanning technique could force us to ditch the test as scientists have achieved a world first in attempting to define and measure human intelligence.

Professor Jianfeng Feng and his team in the Department of Computer Science conducted the groundbreaking research at Warwick University.


The aim of the research was to discover how intellect works in the human brain and thereby inform how Artificial Intelligence (AI) works in the future.

The study used MRI scans to observe thousands of brains and was only possible due to recent developments in brain imaging techniques.

They conclusively found that the more variable a person’s brain is - how frequently you can change neural connections with the other parts of the brain over minutes or seconds - and the more frequently these parts connect with each other, the higher a person’s IQ and creativity. 


The discovery of these dynamic functions inside the brain could be applied to building artificial networks that mimic the brain, with the ability to learn and adapt – a current obstacle in the effectiveness of AI. 

Not only does this study have implications for technology, it is important in understanding mental health.

The team observed alternative patterns of variability in the brain’s “default network” when patients had schizophrenia, autism or ADHD.

Feng said: “It has given us the opportunity to gain sufficient insights to resolve this and inform developments in artificial intelligence, as well as help establish the basis for understanding and diagnosis of debilitating human mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.”

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