Where Gardner’s intelligences do not exactly match some types of robotic capability, they involve them. Spatial intelligence, for in- stance—which Gardner describes as the kind of ability used by navi- gators, sculptors, and surgeons—relies heavily on visual cognition. In the same way, consciousness of self plays a role in intrapersonal intelli- gence. Some writers have combined the interpersonal and intra- personal categories into “emotional intelligence,” but it is useful to keep them separate when discussing whether artificial beings can be self-aware.
Gardner’s original definitions include volitional and creative com- ponents such as “fashioning products” under bodily-kinesthetic intel- ligence. My paraphrases omit these components because artificial beings are not yet creative; nevertheless, digital beings do show traces of Gardner’s intelligences. One of them, logical-mathematical ability, is essentially universal among artificial beings because each micropro- cessor chip has an arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) that accurately ma- nipulates numbers at high speed. The ability to rapidly solve arithmetical problems and deal with areas, such as the stock market, that use arithmetic could be given to a digital being if it were a useful attribute. Artificial logical-mathematical ability could even extend to higher mathematics like algebra and calculus, using existing computer methods that manipulate mathematical ideas at an abstract symbolic level.
But some artificial creatures are more varied in their abilities. In fact, it seems that the seeds of each kind of intelligence can be found in existing beings, as we’ll see by examining three especially intelli- gent ones. Two we have described before; the third closely parallels the capabilities of our imaginary unit.
THREE SMART DIGITAL BEINGS
ASIMO (advanced step in innovative mobility)—the walking robot made by the Honda Corporation, described in Chapter 6—is the oldest of the three smart beings. It took more than two dozen engi- neers some 14 years to produce this accomplished walking robot,