Artisans. Intelligence is more than Data
Data is information. Intelligence is our relationship with it.
Intelligence is such a loaded word.
The ability to understand and learn well, and to form judgments and opinions based on reason. (my highlights) Cambridge Dictionary
It’s the judgement and opinion elements that intrigue me. Raw data is not intelligence. In our everyday usage, data does not become intelligence until we have interacted with it. Judgements and opinions are very human qualities that go way beyond logic and bring emotions, senses, and many other aspects of our human sense-making capabilities to bear.
Howard Gardner’s initial work on multiple intelligences now extends to nine, and yet we still seem reluctant to credit anything for which we do not have measurable data. Despite the fact that research offers us many examples of our instinctive and intuitive judgement, from firefighting to art evaluation, we seem to be deliberately restricting ourselves to areas where technology is more capable than we are because we are afraid of backing our judgement and opinions. We spend more time worrying about technology encroaching on the world of Chess and Go! and moving on to the Law than we do wondering about why we invented Chess in the first place. It’s as though we suffer from imposter syndrome when faced with the genius of our humanity.
Affordance is another great word:
A use or purpose that a thing can have, that people notice as part of the way they see or experience it: Cambridge Dictionary
Our intelligence(s) determine the affordance something has. The joiner sensing that a piece of wood on her lathe is better suited to something other than what she has started to turn it into. Gutenberg sensed that a wine press could be used for printing.
One of the greatest gifts is that intelligence paired with affordance is at the heart of every invention, innovation, and social movement that changes our world.
Data has no magic. It is sterile until it comes into contact with imagination. A Program is data. Quantum Physics is magic. The difference between data and quantum physics was Niels Bohr and Max Planck.
That’s why the artisan in us matters.