ARE WE ON THE CUSP OF ARTIFICIAL GENERAL INTELLIGENCE (AGI)?

One AI specialist is convinced that money and infrastructure are the only real obstacles

JULY 21, 2020

Kathleen Walch, Principal Analyst at Cognilytica, asks “Is AGI really around the corner, or are we chasing an elusive goal that we may never realize?” It was an oddly blunt question from someone in her industry. But then she was right to expect Ben Goertzel (right), CEO & Founder of the SingularityNET Foundation, to reassure her that all is well when she interviewed him at OpenCogCon.

Ben Goertzel, a leading expert in the pursuit of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)—computers that can think like humans—thinks that we are now at a “turning point” where AGI will see rapid advances:

Over the next few years he believes the balance of activity in the AI research area is about to shift from highly specialized narrow AIs toward AGIs. Deep neural nets have achieved amazing things but that paradigm is going to run out of steam fairly soon, and rather than this causing another “AI winter” or a shift in focus to some other kind of narrow AI, he thinks it’s going to trigger the AGI revolution. KATHLEEN WALCH, “IS ARTIFICIAL GENERAL INTELLIGENCE (AGI) ON THE HORIZON? INTERVIEW WITH DR. BEN GOERTZEL, CEO & FOUNDER, SINGULARITYNET FOUNDATION” AT FORBES

He has large hopes:

He states that “any other problem humanity faces – including extremely hard ones like curing death or mental illness, creating nanotechnology or femtotechnology assemblers, saving the Earth’s environment or traveling to the stars — can be solved effectively via first creating a benevolent AGI and then asking the AGI to solve that problem.” KATHLEEN WALCH, “IS ARTIFICIAL GENERAL INTELLIGENCE (AGI) ON THE HORIZON? INTERVIEW WITH DR. BEN GOERTZEL, CEO & FOUNDER, SINGULARITYNET FOUNDATION” AT FORBES

He discussed with Walch some of the projects he is working on, including a search for AGI through AI pioneer Marvin Minsky’s “Society of Minds” approach in which a number of simple agents interact to produce AGI: “I intend to create AGI and when I roll out this AGI, I want it to be rolled out in a decentralized and democratically controlled way, rather than in a manner that allows it to be controlled by any one person or corporate or governmental entity.”

That AI is in fact working in precisely the opposite direction in China—AI is creating the most comprehensive totalitarianism ever known—doesn’t come up for discussion.

Goertzel also works on OpenCog, an architecture for AGI “based on a sophisticated mathematical theory of general intelligence, which tells us how the general nature of general intelligence manifests itself in the specific case of human-like cognition.” He sees the main obstacles as lack of funding and the inadequacy of the current computer infrastructure. But he believes that his company’s software can close the gap.

He told Walch that the other major issue is that current computing infrastructure is (READ MORE)



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