Re: [agi] What best evidence for fast AI?

From: Benjamin Goertzel (
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 15:25:43 MST

On Nov 11, 2007 3:22 PM, Joshua Fox <> wrote:

> > OK then, what are the arguments suggesting a single insight has a good
> chance to
> > make this much difference?
> I don't know about a single insight, but I'd venture that a solid theory
> of intelligence is the major obstacle between us and AGI.

Check out "The Hidden Pattern" (Goertzel, Ben, BrownWalker Press, 2006). I
believe the ideas therein comprise a comprehensive and coherent theory of
intelligence suitable for guiding AGI development. However, that theory is
certainly not "solid" in the sense of being empirically proven at this stage
-- brain science is not up to the level where one can prove overarching
theories of cognition true or false; and the proof in terms of AGI is what
I'm working on, but it's a long or at least medium term project...

-- Ben

> If engineering an AGI does prove to be difficult, we can hope that the
> theory will be clear enough and make enough of an impact to get all needed
> financial resources.
> An AGI, as Eliezer has said, does not have to imitate the details of the
> brain, but it will broadly imitate its functionality. Airplanes easily beat
> out birds in some characteristics once the theory was in place, and after
> the unveiling of the Wright brothers' design it took only a few years until
> planes were good enough to use in war. (I understand that controlling the
> craft's balance was the key insight.)
> Creating an intelligence is unlike building a bridge, building, or tunnel;
> getting ships across the ocean; getting a rocket into space; or building the
> atom bomb, which require vast resources of materials and energy even when
> the theory of how to build one is understood. The human brain, the
> existence-proof of intelligence, is just a one-kilo lump.
> Although we do not understand the brain perfectly yet, it is becoming
> clear that there is no super-engineering-trick there that threatens to
> transcend the abilities of human engineering. Indeed, brains range from
> incrementally from worms to human, and if we can engineer something better
> than the worms, we can work our way up to human.
> All the above doesn't set a time for AGI, but it does suggest that it
> might come soon after the theoretical breakthrough.
> Joshua

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