Measuring 'intelligence' is a much art as science.   Even using the word intelligence sends people down a philosophical rabbit hole, disagreeing about what the word means.

So can there be a 'universal' intelligence test that measures...okay, we have to use the world 'intelligence' despite it being a logical fallacy to use it in its own definition...intelligence regardless of cultural or language?

José Hernández-Orallo, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, says he can do even better.   He says his intelligence test can fairly measure the intelligence of adults or kids.  Even robots.

Along with David L. Dowe of the Monash University, Clayton, their article in Artificial Intelligence details part of the "Anytime Universal Intelligence" project.   The authors have used interactive exercises in settings with a difficulty level estimated by calculating the 'Kolmogorov complexity' (they measure the number of computational resources needed to describe an object or a piece of information). This makes them different from traditional psychometric tests and artificial intelligence tests (Turing test).

Is this robot more intelligent than your baby?   Soon you may know.  Photo Credit: SINC

They say the most direct application of this study is in the field of artificial intelligence, where there has really been no way of checking if current systems are actually more 'intelligent' than the ones in use 20 years ago, "but the existence of tests with these characteristics may make it possible to systematically evaluate the progress of this discipline", says Hernández-Orallo.

And what is even more important is that before this recent work, they say there were no theories or tools to evaluate and compare future intelligent systems that could demonstrate intelligence greater than human intelligence.

Obviously a universal intelligence test could have a significant impact on most cognitive sciences, since any discipline depends largely on the specific techniques and systems used in it and the mathematical basis that underpins it.

"The universal and unified evaluation of intelligence, be it human, non-human animal, artificial or extraterrestrial, has not been approached from a scientific viewpoint before, and this is a first step," the researchers said.