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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.
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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.