Emergent intelligence in the Net?
Phil Wainewright: Spontaneous intelligence and the Semantic Web. "the only way intelligence gets into a computer is as a result of humans putting it there."
My first reaction was to endorse that statement wholeheartedly. Upon thinking a bit more about it, I think I'd be more comfortable with a more restrictive statement such as "the Semantic Web will not by itself generate intelligence beyond what humans put into it".
I think spontaneous intelligence might pop up in other computer-related areas. For instance, as the Internet grows into a more and more biological-like system, we might begin to notice large-scale patterns of behavior emerge that were not planned by the designers. (Actually I'm not sure that this hasn't already happened, e.g. in router networks.) If some of these patterns turn out to have a recognizable function, they might be construed as evidence of intelligence.