What is "superintelligence"?

In the book Superintelligence, Nick Bostrom defines a superintelligence as “any intellect1 that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest.”

The “virtually all domains” part of this definition is important: while current AIs are often “superintelligent” (i.e., much more capable than humans) within some narrow domain — e.g., chess —superintelligence without qualification is usually used to mean a system that far exceeds human intelligence in most domains.

  1. "Superintelligence" usually refers to an artificial intelligence, but it doesn't have to. For example, a human whose intelligence was technologically augmented to a sufficient degree could be superintelligent. ↩︎