From the dawn of civilization, physical strength and skill in battle have been highly regarded attributes. However, the advent of technology along with the idea of a nation-state in the 19th century began to shift this perspective, placing more emphasis on intellectual prowess over physical might.

Historically, intelligence wasn't broadly prized until the 1800s when Germany pioneered mass education with universities. This change correlates with the emergence of machinery, which began to replace more laborious farmwork, exemplified by Cyrus McCormick's invention of the first reaper in 1834. Around this time, laws like Thomas Jefferson's patent rights in America and the British patent system of the late 18th century was taking shape, setting up frameworks to promote intellectual creativity and innovation.

Chinese Long Tradition of Intelligence

Comparatively, in medieval China as early as the 700s, the 科挙 system sought to base government roles on intelligence. However, the system was not accessible to all due to the specialized knowledge it necessitated, which was often unavailable to the working class such as farmers. Yet, this didn't cease the society from valuing intelligence.

Despite this shift, it's remarkable to note that even then, militaristic strength had an equal footing with intellectual acuity. But the availability of guns in the 1500s and later, advancements in farming automation in the 1800s, gradually diminished the importance of muscle power.

This gradual shift towards an intelligence-based society is profoundly exemplified in the establishment of German universities, which resulted from an increase in primary education. And this brings us to a provocative question for our current era: As AI continues to evolve rapidly, will our societal values shift again?

Age of AI

The rise of AI and the ease it has brought to various aspects of life might change the way we value intelligence. Perhaps in the near future, we may see societies valuing technological interest or acumen more, as we are increasingly becoming reliant on these skills.

Proposing a timeline, the decline in demand for human intelligence could be as gradual as the decline of muscle power that began in the 1800s. By the end of this century, societies might start valuing other attributes alongside or above intelligence.

Heck, GPT can pass medical exam better than most humans.

This hypothesis speculates that slowly, our system of education that trains every individual for the purpose of 'intelligence-filtering' might prove to be heavily inefficient. Maybe, the world in the future may resemble the present-day lifestyles and attitudes of the bottom 14% of society, who, rather than striving for intellectual mastery, are content with authority figures making decisions for them and practice vicarious living. That's already a case where Index Fund took away the power of hyper intelligence Wall Street hedge funds.

Movement Started from 2000

AI technology has come a long way since Google's initial efforts in the 2000s. Arguably, modern AI could function at an intelligence level of a human with an IQ between 110 and 150. The role of education needs to adapt alongside and embrace the evolution of AI, focusing more on emotional empathy and team working skills, which machines currently lack.

Since as early as 1900, intelligent people have existed and thrived in cities like New York, functioning as the merchant class of the society, efficiently allocating resources. Perhaps, the growing presence of AI might eventually render conventional bureaucracy ineffective, mirroring the failed bureaucracy of the Soviet Union.

Thereby, it becomes evident that as we progress, the role of intelligence in society seems to be evolving continuously. Embracing this change and adapting to it could be the key to the advancement of our society. The value we place on intelligence and the way we nurture it are crucial factors that will shape our future.