Demonstrating intelligence

Product development requires the full potential of our intelligence, so we need to operate in the seeing, doing, and imagining.

There seems to be no clear definition of what intelligence is, and thus this poses an interesting question: Can one actually demonstrate intelligence (at work and beyond) or do we just imitate the idea of intelligence?

Of course, we want to believe that we demonstrate intelligence in almost everything we do, but let’s think about it from the perspective of the hierarchy of causal reasoning defined by Judea Pearl (one of leading experts in causality).

He defines 3 levels of causal reasoning:

  1. Seeing (association) – detect regularities in the environment (correlations).
  2. Doing (intervention) – predict interactions in the environment (like what will happen if we raise a price twice).
  3. Imagine – something totally new (new product, process, etc.).

Product development requires the full potential of our intelligence, so we need to operate in the seeing, doing, and imagining. Data analysis techniques and tools help us to solve the former by finding correlations in data, but the second and third practices are up to us as human beings.

If you are interested in more information about causality, read the book written by Judea Pearl: The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect  

Consider

How often in your work you use all three levels of causal reasoning?

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