Putting the “Artificial” in “Intelligence”

Dec 11, 2020Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

Artificial general intelligence: Are we close, and does it even make sense to try?

A machine that could think like a person has been the guiding vision of AI research since the earliest days—and remains its most divisive idea…”

https://www-technologyreview-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.technologyreview.com/2020/10/15/1010461/artificial-general-intelligence-robots-ai-agi-deepmind-google-openai/amp/

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Manuel

Hi Sam, could I ask you a couple of questions on AI … and robots?

Today 11:32  

Sam

👋  Sure thing!                                                                                

Today 11:34   

Manuel

Thanks! I’ve read this article and I’m not sure I quite get the point. What is “AGI” exactly?

Today 11:34   

Sam

Ah, yes, that’s a tricky one …  😎😎                                                        

Today 11:35  

Sam

So basically “AI” just means “Artificial Intelligence”, and that’s hard enough to define, but “AGI” means “Artificial General Intelligence”

Today 11:36   

Manuel

Ok, and the difference is … ? 😅

Today 11:36  

Sam

Compare it to a toolbox: you have nails, you need a hammer. You need to find patterns in data, you need an AI  🤖

Today 11:37

Sam

As Marvin Minsky once said, we could call a program “intelligent” if it does things in a way that we would call “intelligent” if a human did them

Today 11:37

Manuel

So a machine is smart if it does things like a human? 

Today 11:38   

Sam

Defining “intelligence” in general is really hard! AI systems are really good at things humans are really bad at, and really bad at things that are really easy for humans -> https://xkcd.com/1425/ (Moravec’s Paradox)

Today 11:40  

Manuel

So can we make an AI as smart as a human or no? 😆😆

Today 11:43   

Sam

Yes and no. We can make an AI do some tasks as well or faster than a human, but not in the same way a human does them, just like a car isn’t an artificial horse

Today 11:45   

Manuel

Ah, that clears it up. So a hammer is better than my fist at hammering in nails, but it is not a better hand overall. Right?

Today 11:45   

Sam

 Yes, in a sense. What “AGI” wants to be, is an AI that is as intelligent as a human overall, not just for a specific task. But still not necessarily do things in the same way a human does

Today 11:46

Manuel

So we have specialized AI systems that are good at one thing, but not a general AI that is good at everything?

Today 11:46   

Sam

Exactly. BUT!  😁😁😁                                                                              

Today 11:46   

Manuel

… there’s always a but … 😆

Today 11:46   

Sam

Well, there is one approach that tries to imitate how humans learn to do things: artificial neural networks that imitate the structure of the brain and can learn, instead being programmed.

Today 11:47   

Manuel

They’re building a whole artificial brain?  🧠🤖

Today 11:48

Sam

Not really no, these neural nets are generally simulated on ordinary computers 😊😊😊😊                                    

Today 11:49   

Sam

In this way, AI’s have achieved human-level skills in games  https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/10/alphago-zero-the-ai-that-taught-itself-go/543450/

Today 11:49   

Sam

and have learned to do more complex perception and motion  https://www.bostondynamics.com/atlas

 

Today 11:49   

Manuel

Doesn’t this mean it is just “intelligent” full stop? What makes it “artificial”? “Artificial” makes it sound like its fake …

Today 11:50

Sam

In a sense you are right, “artificial” is commonly used to indicate that something is not real, like artificial flavoring or coloring in food. A computer solves problems in a different way than a human, but if it gets the job done, there’s nothing “fake” about it 

Today 11:51   

Manuel

OK, I’m going to read some stuff and get back to you.

Today 11:52

Sam

Sure, have a nice weekend!    🖖🖖                                                       

Today 11:52   

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