Numerous films have been built around the concept of artificial general intelligence. “Alita: Battle Angel,” “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “I Am Mother,” and many others all feature artificial general intelligence and how it can affect humanity’s future. However, AGI is still a blurry concept for many. In this post, we’ll try to answer many of the questions surrounding the idea. Let’s dive in.

What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

By definition, artificial general intelligence refers to a machine’s ability to carry out activities similar to humans. It can apply the same general intelligence to any set of tasks. Its capacity also includes drawing inferences from things that it learns. Beyond merely performing tasks, artificial general intelligence systems should be able to interpret functions based on how they perceive the world.

What Is the Difference between Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence?

Many often confuse artificial general intelligence with artificial intelligence (AI), but the former is far better at interpreting tasks. While AI systems can be exceedingly better than humans in some aspects, they are not independently intelligent because their “intelligence” is limited to a single functionality. They can’t do other things. A machine powered with artificial general intelligence, meanwhile, can learn to do new things even with minimal training because it can use knowledge learned from other input, not only specific to what it is currently under training for.  

For example, an agent with artificial general intelligence can undergo training to process one specific language using natural language processing (NLP). It can also learn other languages that may have a similar syntax or shared origin. This capability of an artificial general intelligence system allows it to replicate inherent human processes, effectively reducing the time necessary for training and allowing it to gain competence in many different areas. 

In contrast, AI systems such as Deep Blue can only do what it was pre-programmed to do—to play chess.

What Can Artificial General Intelligence Do?

Theoretically, an artificial general intelligence system should be able to do many tasks that humans can and can’t. The idea is to create an agent that effectively brings together human capabilities and combines them with intelligent reasoning through computational processes to carry out high-precision tasks. Such tasks include doing split-second computations and near-instant recall. With this capability, will humans soon become inferior to artificial general intelligence agents?

It is possible. With artificial general intelligence, robots can gain dexterity and become extremely mobile like humans. The concept is bound to result in a new breed of machines. Over time, artificial general intelligence-powered robots can take over the roles initially reserved for humans. At first, the idea of using humans and AI systems together may be cheaper, but the birth of artificial general intelligence may cause many to use it solely since it is more cost-effective. And that may render human labor obsolete.

How Far Are We from Making Artificial General Intelligence a Reality?

In theory, mimicking the functions of the human brain is possible. In fact, there are numerous brain simulation projects such as the Human Brain Project and the Blue Brain Project, which aim to replicate the complex processes of the human brain. At present, that future may still be many years away. Many AI experts boldly claim that the research community may achieve AI completion by 2030 and artificial general intelligence by 2060.

Capability-wise, achieving a future with superintelligent machines through artificial general intelligence remains far-fetched but not entirely impossible. The exact estimate when AI experts and researchers would realize the real-world application of artificial general intelligence is still unknown. Perhaps the bigger question would be how it would impact humanity. Will it be more beneficial or detrimental? One thing is sure, though—the emergence of artificial general intelligence will bring forth many significant and irreversible changes, good or bad, that can reshape the world.

Artificial general intelligence is a new concept, and so is often viewed as scary. It doesn’t help that most films depict artificial general intelligence as something that will allow machines to develop a higher level of consciousness and capabilities than humans.

Like AI, which was merely a concept before but now significantly affects our lives, artificial general intelligence can also become a torch that would bring about changes. Whether the changes are positive or negative, though, we have to wait and see.

Will We Ever Turn Artificial General Intelligence into Reality?
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