The Future of AI: Artificial General Intelligence
To attain true AI understanding, researchers should shift their attention to developing a basic, underlying AGI technology that replicates the contextual understanding of humans.
Industry giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, research laboratories such as Elon Musk’s OpenAI, and even platforms like SingularityNET are all betting that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) – the ability of an intelligent agent to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human can – represents the future of AI technology.
Somewhat surprisingly, though, none of these companies is focused on developing a basic, underlying AGI technology that replicates the contextual understanding of humans. That likely explains why the research being done by these companies depends entirely on an intelligence model that possesses varying degrees of specificity and relies on today’s AI algorithms.
Unfortunately, that dependence means that, at best, AI can only give the appearance of intelligence. No matter how impressive their capabilities are, they still follow predetermined scripts that contain numerous variables. As a result, even massive, highly sophisticated programs such as GPT3 or Watson only appear to exhibit understanding. In actuality, they have no understanding that words and images represent physical things that exist and interact in a physical universe. The concept of time or the idea that causes have effects is completely foreign to them.
That’s not to take anything away from what today’s AI is able to do. Google, for example, is able to search volumes of information at an incredible speed to provide the results the user wants (at least most of the time). Personal assistants such as Siri can make restaurant reservations, find and read emails, and give directions in real-time. The list goes on and on and is constantly being expanded and improved.
But no matter how sophisticated these programs are, they are still looking for input and making specific output responses that depend entirely on the data sets at their core. If you don’t believe me, ask a customer service bot a question that is “off-script,” and the bot will likely generate a response that makes no sense or no response at all.