The Quantum Mechanics of Intelligence 


How does quantum mechanics at the microscopic level, at the level of atoms and electrons, play out on the macroscopic level of people, the world and ourselves? And how does the equation for intelligence (F = T ∇ Sτ) apply? Here are some of my thoughts.

In the weirdness of quantum mechanics every possible state that can exist does exist. There are a multiverse of possibilities— but like in quantum mechanics an electron can have an upward or downward spin, determination makes them either up or down. The determination (actualisation) limits the possibilities. As you move from the subatomic level to the next level — from electrons to atoms to molecules to organelles to cells to organs to bodies, determinations are made at each level. It is not a contradiction of the quantum multiverse — it is that the universe we are in, is the one where the uncertainty has been removed and we are its manifestation. The multiverse still exists but ours has converged into the one we are in.

What about the force of intelligence — the entropic growth? In your daily life each time you make a decision or a choice it opens other possibilities. You can picture yourself walking along a stoney beach where stepping on one particular stone will influence what the possibilities are for the next step and so on and so on as you walk along the beach. You don’t necessarily know which stones you will step on but they present themselves as you walk along. If you keep an open-mind as to the possible futures and if you have an open-hearted attitude to life you will be behaving in an intelligent manner.

I am reminded of the Taoist poem (#16):

Being open-hearted, you will act royally.

Being royal, you will attain the divine.

Being divine, you will be at one with the TAO.

In other words you will act in accordance with the force of intelligence.

A further comment on the Alexander Wissner-Gross TED talk and his Entropica  model — the model is not an entirely satisfactory exposition of the force of intelligence. The examples of walking upright or using tools seem unrealistic since the computer model would need to have been programmed for all possible actions and the maximisation of their diversity. In the real world you could not possibly know these parameters — all possible actions and their diversities. In my opinion Entropica has the ‘ghost in the machine’ of the programmer. The equation (F = T ∇ Sτ) makes the profound statement that intelligence is a force that acts so as to maximise the future freedom of action and keeps the options open. This is how the entropic increase of intelligence occurs.

In the words of Wissner-Gross: “Intelligence should be viewed as a physical process that tries to maximise future freedom of action and avoids constraints in its own future.”