There is a lot of buzz lately about Artificial General Intelligence. The distinction that is drawn between AI as it is currently defined and AGI is one of scope. Most current AI programs are limited in scope to a narrow domain of expertise. The vision of AGI is a program that can identify the context in which it finds itself and apply its expertise to problems from a wide variety of domains. One approach to achieving AGI is to create a network of AIs that each are experts in their narrow domains that are supervised by an AI that is trained to recognize problem domains and dispatch those problems to the AI most adept at solving that particular problem.
When you think about it, that is how we solve problems. We first categorize the problem so that we can focus on what we know about the relevant domain. We also are able to see similarities between experiences that we have had in other areas that may suggest alternative approaches to the problem at hand.
When it comes right down to it, our superior intelligence is based on a hard wired ability to match complicated patterns. A good example of this is our ability to see faces in random shapes. We have developed a particular affinity to the basic features of a human face. It has long been a survival trait to quickly recognize that we see a face and who that face is so that we can either embrace them if they are a friend or defend ourselves against them if they are a foe.
Another important tool that we use to amplify our intelligence is language. We have used the ability to communicate our experience through stories to teach others our hard won lessons. As time goes on, and more and more people have shared their lessons, our collective intelligence rises. It takes a huge leap when we learn how to write our stories down. Now we can save our best stories, unaltered for generation after generation.
After a while, a certain clever man named Gutenberg created a printing press that made it practical to mass produce books. This meant that now everyone had the ability to read the collected wisdom of the ages.
The next step is yet to come. There are scientists hard at work on building a brain computer interface (BCI) that will allow us to communicate our thoughts and feelings directly to a computer and inevitably to each other.
When this occurs, we will have the mechanism in place to form a global collective on a scale to rival any AGI that may either emerge or be created directly by human programmers. In any case, the Singularity will have arrived at that point.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.