"One cannot expect a great performance on a task that fails to arouse interest. We ran into this problem while studying face recognition in chimpanzees. At the time, science had declared humans unique, since we were so much better at identifying faces than any other primate. No one seemed bothered by the fact that other primates had been tested mostly on human faces rather than those of their own kind. When I asked one of the pioneers in this field why the methodology had never moved beyond the human face, he answered that since humans differ so strikingly from one another, a primate that fails to tell members of our species apart will surely also fail at its own kind. But when Lisa Parr, one of my coworkers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, tested chimpanzees on photographs of their own species, she found that they excelled at it."
de Waal, Frans. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (Kindle Locations 270-276). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.
Schooling and education are supposed to relate closely to intelligence. One hundred years ago, Lewis Terman modified the French Binet-Simon intelligence test to be more appropriate to US children. Since then, we have had many attempts to discover high levels of intelligence in both children and adults. It hasn't been easy and it hasn't been especially accurate.
The Oxford University series of Very Short Introductions are helpful, inexpensive (especially in the Kindle format) and cover a wide-range of subjects. The one on intelligence (2001) has a table of contents that implies some of the difficulties in nailing down what intelligence is and how to recognize it:
1 To see 'g' or not to see 'g' … How many types of intelligence are there?
2 Ageing and intelligence: senility or sagacity? What happens to mental abilities as we grow older?
3 Brainy? Why are some people cleverer than others?
4 'They f—— you up, your mum and dad' (Larkin) Are intelligence differences a result of genes or environments or both?
5 The (b)right man for the job Does intelligence matter?
6 The lands of the rising IQ Is intelligence increasing generation after generation?
7 Eleven Twelve (not-so-)angry men (and women) Psychologists actually agree about human intelligence differences
Deary, Ian J.. Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Locations 138-149). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
As we perhaps get a little smarter and a little more careful, we may understand our minds and those of other species more completely and with more respect and less arrogance. The many efforts to build machines that can think faster, more accurately and maybe in better ways may help us, too.