Artificial General Intelligence: Now Is the Time

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science on June 13, 2007

Artificial General Intelligence: Now Is the Time
Google Tech Talks
May 30, 2007


Dr. Ben Goertzel - Artificial General Intelligence: Now Is the Time Essay
When the AI field was founded over 50 years ago, it was squarely focused on the grand dream of creating software displaying general intelligence at the human level or beyond. Since that time the field has drifted in a direction Ray Kurzweil has called "Narrow AI": the creation of intelligent software applications carrying out highly particular functions. The relationship between this sort of narrow AI and "artificial general intelligence" (AGI) as in the original dreams of the AI field, is an issue of dispute among experts.
Some researchers believe powerful AGI will result eventually from the development and combination of narrow AI products -- such as, for example, data mining software as is commonly used in the finance industry; auto navigation software like the kind used in the DARPA Grand Challenge; and last but not least, sophisticated search engines like Google. Other researchers believe that AGI will only come about via emulation of the human brain, once brain mapping technology has advanced further. On the other hand, an increasing minority of researchers believes that AGI is most likely to be achieved via computer science researchers explicitly attempting to create AGI software programs, divorced from any particular narrow application area.
In this talk I will briefly overview this emerging subdiscipline of "AGI", including the work of various researchers such as Stan Franklin, Pei Wang and Stuart Shapiro. I will then discuss my own work on the Novamente Cognition Engine, an AGI project based on combining a number of knowledge representations and reasoning and learning techniques into an integrative architecture motivated by complex systems theory, and initially oriented at the control of virtual agents in 3D simulation worlds such as Second Life.

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