Deep Thought takes up the challenge, but warns that it will require no less than seven and a half million years to produce the answer. Given the scope of the challenge, Deep Thought's petitioners accept the computer's terms and leave it to their descendants to benefit from Deep Thought's protracted ruminations. Finally, following eons of cogitation, Deep Thought stirs and announces, ominously, that the long-awaited answer is ready--but Deep Thought adds that the answer is unlikely to be a crowd-pleaser. Their patience at an end, Deep Thought's supplicants insist that the computer unveil the monumental secret that they have waited so long and faithfully to hear. At that, Deep Thought heaves an electronic sigh and pronounces that the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything is...
As Deep Thought predicted, the assemblage reacts unfavorably to such a meaningless answer. Deep Thought fires back that the answer is perfect, rather the fault lies with the question: the answer, forty-two, is unintelligible only because Deep Thought's patrons never really understood their original question.
At this point, I should emphasize that I am a huge supporter of information technology and AI. The smarter that our technologies become, the more likely it is that we'll be able to solve the many problems (e.g., war, famine, disease, natural disaster, pollution, energy shortages, etc.) that humanity faces.
It makes about as much sense to say that intelligence is equivalent to a score of 81, 97, 112, or 250 as it does to claim that the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 42. The difference between these assertions is that Douglas Adams was joking, whereas psychometricians are serious. Aww, c'mon, there's got to be a camera hidden somewhere.
But, here's the best part. In the Hitchhiker's Guide, Deep Thought hatches a bold plan to solve the problem of "how to understand the question"; it's another joke, but it contains a marvelous kernel of truth. Deep Thought creates the most sophisticated computer in the universe (i.e., the earth) and runs a multi-billion year program (i.e., the evolution of life on earth) through which to create organisms (i.e., humans) who develop the necessary mental faculties to understand the meaning of existence. Thus, the moral of the story is that the answer lies within. It simply takes the necessary wisdom to understand the question.
The point of all this is that, if we try hard enough, humans will surely be able to figure out the meaning of life, the universe and everything--and also the key to artificial intelligence. The trick is to seek the real, hidden knowledge that lies behind otherwise meaningless numbers.