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UPDATE:

I would like to add more clarification regarding what exactly an intelligent system has relation with patterns.

Any intelligent system must have the concept of observation. We humans observe the world around us using senses. A computer program observe the world by receiving input from user or other devices. Based on the observations the system can perform below activities (depends on the abilities of the system):

  • System figures out which pattern is applicable based on the observation. The system will have a repository of patterns and when an observation occurs the system will need to figure out which particular pattern the observation is all about. A software system has fixed set of patterns and based on the input to the program there is a usually a if/else code which decides what pattern to use for the input. A human when sensing the environment decides which pattern the sense data belongs to - Your eyes see a car and brain decide that car is the existing pattern the visual data belongs to.

  • System can apply (exploit) a pattern. Once the system has decided which pattern or set of patterns are applicable the system can apply the set of patterns to decide further set of actions and predictions. Once a software has decided that you have asked it to delete a file, it will perform the required action. Once a human have seen a car it will apply the "car" pattern to predict many things and may be perform some action.

  • System learns new patterns / update existing patterns. The system has the capability to learn new patterns i.e based on the observation it can figure out new patterns in the observations and grow its repository of patterns and may even update its existing patterns due to new observations. The database of a software is the repository of patterns for the software. When you insert new data, update existing data or delete some data - the software just learned new patterns and updated existing patterns, although its pretty stupid learning - much like believing in whatever someone says. Machine learning is much more advanced form of learning than simple database operations.

  • System can design new patterns from existing patterns. Welcome to the world of creativity. For this capability the system must have all the above capabilities. Look around the world and you will find there are so many things that we humans has created that never existed in the nature before. This is only possible because of this ability to create new patterns from existing patterns. Whole human civilization is just a complex set of patterns that we have created over centuries. Most of the time out brain is always busy in performing the above activities and I guess that this capability require less observations because the more the observations the more the brain will be busy with above activities. Probably that's why creative people try to find a place where their senses are not overloaded with observations.

UPDATE:

I would like to add more clarification regarding what exactly an intelligent system has relation with patterns.

Any intelligent system must have the concept of observation. We humans observe the world around us using senses. A computer program observe the world by receiving input from user or other devices. Based on the observations the system can perform below activities (depends on the abilities of the system):

  • System figures out which pattern is applicable based on the observation. The system will have a repository of patterns and when an observation occurs the system will need to figure out which particular pattern the observation is all about. A software system has fixed set of patterns and based on the input to the program there is a usually a if/else code which decides what pattern to use for the input. A human when sensing the environment decides which pattern the sense data belongs to - Your eyes see a car and brain decide that car is the existing pattern the visual data belongs to.

  • System can apply (exploit) a pattern. Once the system has decided which pattern or set of patterns are applicable the system can apply the set of patterns to decide further set of actions and predictions. Once a software has decided that you have asked it to delete a file, it will perform the required action. Once a human have seen a car it will apply the "car" pattern to predict many things and may be perform some action.

  • System learns new patterns / update existing patterns. The system has the capability to learn new patterns i.e based on the observation it can figure out new patterns in the observations and grow its repository of patterns and may even update its existing patterns due to new observations. The database of a software is the repository of patterns for the software. When you insert new data, update existing data or delete some data - the software just learned new patterns and updated existing patterns, although its pretty stupid learning - much like believing in whatever someone says. Machine learning is much more advanced form of learning than simple database operations.

  • System can design new patterns from existing patterns. Welcome to the world of creativity. For this capability the system must have all the above capabilities. Look around the world and you will find there are so many things that we humans has created that never existed in the nature before. This is only possible because of this ability to create new patterns from existing patterns. Whole human civilization is just a complex set of patterns that we have created over centuries. Most of the time out brain is always busy in performing the above activities and I guess that this capability require less observations because the more the observations the more the brain will be busy with above activities. Probably that's why creative people try to find a place where their senses are not overloaded with observations.

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Intelligence, much like other traits of a system, is relative. The statement "System A is intelligent" doesn't make any sense until you also specify compared to which system System A is intelligent. When we hear such statements we implicitly compare the system with other system that we are familiar with.

Let's say you have 2 systems - A and B. Both of these systems are able to perform a task X using certain amount of resources (lets say energy). Now if system A uses less energy as compared to system B, we can say that the system A is more intelligent than system B. But if both of the system performs different tasks then there is no way to compare their intelligence.

How can system A is able to perform the task using less energy then system B? The answer lies in the fact that system A is "exploiting" some patterns in the task to achieve it much more efficiently. Patterns acts as shortcut to achieve a target. The more patterns a system is able to exploit the more intelligent it will be.

Where does the pattern comes from? This is where the concept of learning comes into play. A system capable of learning will evolve its sets of patterns over a period of time to achieve its goals more efficiently.

In summary, you can say that being able to recognize patterns and exploiting those patterns to achieve some goals is what makes a system intelligent.