Artificial Intelligence from First Principles

What is AI?  We know what artificial means, so the root question is, what is intelligence?

As it occurs in nature, intelligence is information processing that goes on inside an organic brain. It is the defining characteristic of human beings; human are intelligent animals. Humans have that characteristic unique among known species or at least to such a degree that is might as well be a difference in kind. It is the characteristic that confers upon our species our incomparable control over the natural environment.

Intelligence is characterized by a number of operations such as interference (logic), pattern recognition, and memory utilization.  But computers can already do these as well or better than people.  What is missing?

It is knowledge, a very special kind of information structure that functions as in internal model of the external world.

This immediately redefines the entire enterprise of Artificial Intelligence. Computers are already intelligent, but they are ignorant.

Is there something unique about the human brain’s neural architecture that is essential to the creation of knowledge? Why should there be? That is a gratuitous assumption like a flying machine needs to flap its wings because that’s what birds do. The Wright brothers went back to first principles, Aerodynamics, and solved the problem far more easily and elegantly than building an ornithopter.

Can a functional model of the world be designed as a software object structure and processed in software without emulating a neural processing layer? Turns out it can.