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I just noticed that if I uninstall xserver-xorg-video-intel, then xbacklight will stop working and give this error: No outputs have backlight property, although it worked flawlessly before that. This makes me curious about how xbacklight actually does its job, especially why it does not require sudo, while if I want to manually adjust /sys/class/backlight/apci_video0/brightness then I will need to either use sudo or modify the permissions. I did try to look at the source code of xbacklight, but I'm not at all familiar with C or C++ so I cannot understand anything.

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