Artificial General Intelligence: Humanity’s Last Invention | Ben Goertzel

Published on Feb 5, 2017
For all the talk of Artificial Intelligence, it always seems that gossip is faster than progress. But it could be that within this century, we will fully realize the visions science fiction has promised us, says Dr. Ben Goertzel – for better or worse. Humanity will always create and invent, but the last invention of necessity will be a human-level Artificial General Intelligence mind, which will be able to create a new AIG with super-human intelligence, and continually create smarter and smarter versions of itself. It will provide all basic human needs – food, shelter, water – and those of us who wish to experience a higher echelon of consciousness and intelligence will be able to upgrade to become super-human. Or, perhaps there will be war – there’s a bit of uncertainty there, admits Goertzel. “There’s a lot of work to get to the point where intelligence explodes… But I do think it’s reasonably probable we can get there in my lifetime, which is rather exciting,” he says. Ben Goertzel’s most recent book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence

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Transcript: The mathematician I.J. Good back in the mid-1960s introduced what he called the intelligence explosion, which in essence was the same as the concept that Vernor Vinge later introduced and Ray Kurzweil adopted and called the technological singularity. What I.J. Good said was the first intelligent machine will be the last invention that humanity needs to make. Now in the 1960s the difference between neural AI and AGI wasn’t that clear and I.J. Good wasn’t thinking about a system like AlphaGo that could beat Go but couldn’t walk down the street or add five plus five. In the modern vernacular what we can say is the first human level AGI, the first human level artificial general intelligence, will be the last invention that humanity needs to make.

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And the reason for that is once you get a human level AGI you can teach this human level AGI math and programming and AI theory and cognitive science and neuroscience. This human level AGI can then reprogram itself and it can modify its own mind and it can make itself into a yet smarter machine. It can make 10,000 copies of itself, some of which are much more intelligent than the original. And once the first human level AGI has created the second one which is smarter than itself, well, that second one will be even better at AI programming and hardware design and cognitive science and so forth and will be able to create the third human level AGI which by now will be well beyond human level.

Full transcript here

More on AGI Revolution below

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is the quest for the sci-fi AI dream: AI with mental autonomy, generality, adaptiveness and imagination equal to and ultimately exceeding that of humans. After decades of R&D struggles, the time for AGI is now finally near. Since the early aughts, Dr. Ben Goertzel has been the leading force advancing the concept of AGI in the research community and the public sphere. Here he gives an insider’s account of the rise of AI and AGI from relative obscurity to their current status as the focus of large corporate and government initiatives. He presents his understanding of the operation of the human brain, and the viability of various approaches to AGI including his own OpenCog AGI project; and also describes his efforts to use AI to solve critical issues such as human aging. In Goertzel’s vision, AGI will soon yield dramatic changes in every area of human life and society. Advanced AGIs that vastly exceed human intelligence will bring on a Technological Singularity, quite likely within our lifetimes.

AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence