Do You Have Pithient Intellect?

Isaac Arthur's latest post on his YouTube channel at the time of this posting is rather interesting. It deals with what sentience is exactly. Spoiler: It's vague and has lots of definitions, none of which can be universally accepted. It's something that needs a lot of thought and discussion before we might meet an alien intelligence.

I am going to skip over most of the outline. Just watch the video. There's a lot to think about and contemplate. I don't normally explicitly state "watch the video" because I think I make good summaries and if you're interested in what I reviewed then you should watch the whole thing. In this case just watch the video.

One thing just to make sure to clear any confusion. Around the 5:15 point in the video Isaac Arthur uses the word "pithient" for a kind of intelligence. If you google the word you'll see there's no definition or references yet. That's because Isaac Arthur coined the term. It;s literally a new invented word. Am I going to try to convince someone it's a bad British word like "bellend". I'll try my best. April Fools' Day is coming up. It's not indexed on Google so it must be bad, right? Well, I guess now my post will be one of the first to be indexed for a search on pithience.

"Pithient" starts to be defined around the 18:20 point in the video. It means subhuman but near human intellect. Not a lot of good examples but as technology advances and humans create artificial life, uplift animals, augment brains with computers and create artificial intelligence the term "pithient intelligence" may become significant.

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