Here intelligence is defined as any analytic or decision making process, regardless of strength (utility), and, potentially, any process of computation that produces output, regardless of the medium.
The idea that AI is part of an evolutionary process, with humans as merely a vehicle of the next dominant species, has been a staple of Science Fiction for many decades. It informs our most persistent mythologies related to AI. (Recent examples include Terminator/Skynet, Westworld, Ex Machina, and Alien:Covenant).
What I'm driving at here is that, although the concept of Neural Networks have been around since the 1940's, they have only recently demonstrated strong utility, so it's not an unreasonable assumption to identify Moore's Law as the limiting factor. (i.e. it is only recently that we have had sufficient processing power and memory to achieve this utility.)
But the idea of AI is ingrained into information technology once automation becomes possible. Babbage's Difference Engine led to the idea of an Analytic Engine, and the game of Tic-Tac-Toe was proposed as a means of demonstrating intelligence.
What I'm driving at here is that the idea of analysis and decision making are so fundamental in regard to information technology, that it is difficult to see functions that don't involve them. And, if the strength of analysis and decision making is largely a function of computing power:
- Can intelligence be understood as a naturally occurring function of information technology?