anything to do with intelligence and wasn't just a search/optimization problem
Intelligence IS search/optimisation problem. 99% of it at least.
It is not like competition between human and ML. It is all about solving problems. You right about trasfer learning — it is necessary for solve complex problems. And it is fast growing area in ML.
Intelligence is more about adapting/transfering old knowledge to new task than it is about compressing experience into heuristics to predict outcome
I would say, intelligence is about getting that knowledge. From scratch, not from someone other intelligent who already knows it. Then it is used as kind of input information and this gets an ability to apply it to new tasks.
Playing Go can't be considered a non-standard problem for AlphaGo after playing 30 million games.
Biologists define intelligence as ability to find non-standard solutions for non-standard problems and distinguish it from reflexes and instincts defined as standard solutions for standard problems.
I think, "non-standardness" is not defining characteristic. Reading (as getting information from text) or translating are quite standard tasks but they require capabilities of intelligence.
minimize the difference between its models and reality.
Perception and cognition are both attempts to create accurate models that match the world, thus minimizing free energy.
I have same opinion, but I consider it not in terms of free energy but in terms of infromation.
I have the article about this on Medium (on Habr in Russian).
"Intelligence is an ability of an information system to build a model of environment by input information."
"Curiosity is a desire to know details of some model element."