Artificial General Intelligence

👋 Hello old friends, and welcome new subscribers! Our goal here is to break down the topics of AI into simple terms that anybody can understand. Let’s jump in!

Ok, so we’ve covered some basics around what an algorithm and machine learning are, and then we got deeper into Generative AI which is the newest craze. But let’s zoom out a little bit…. All of this falls into a category known as Artificial Narrow Intelligence, or ANI. But a ton of the content you see online or in the movies is a whole different thing… And it’s the one that scares the s#*t out of a lot of people. This other spectrum of AI is called Artificial General intelligence, or AGI. Before I break down what all of this is, just know that AGI is only a theory for now. In other words, this doesn’t exist…. YET!

So let’s take a breath, and understand the differences before you board up your windows.

In this video that’s been quoted a lot lately, Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) references the simple act of making a cup of coffee as a reference to computers rivaling human intelligence. A couple of things to note:

This video is from 2010! Classic Woz knowledge aging well, am I right?

When breaking down the massive concept of human intelligence represented by the simple act of making coffee, in comparison to what’s available today with tools like ChatGPT, you can quickly tell that we are a long way off from this being a reality.

😅… so what’s the main difference?

Let’s use some examples to highlight these two categories:

Narrow AI systems (what we have today) are designed to excel at specific tasks. They have specialized capabilities and perform well within their defined boundaries. For example, voice assistants like Siri or Alexa can answer questions, play music, or control smart home devices, but their abilities are limited to these specific tasks. Additionally, their intelligence only transitions to a new skill with human input; meaning if you want Siri to also fold the laundry, this will take engineers to train the machine on a new set of rules in order for that to happen (I know, Siri is just a voice… gah). This makes the current version of AI “narrow” in its scope of capabilities to learn and adapt to new situations.

General AI (the theory) aims to possess human-level intelligence across various domains. AGI systems could understand, learn, and perform a wide range of tasks similar to a human being. And just like a human, they could learn from experience, acquire new skills, and generalize their learning to new situations, on their own. For instance, an AGI system would be able to make you that ☕️ without being a trained barista robot. I know, crazy to think about….

🧐 So what should I do with this information?

Ultimately, the best thing to do is just be aware of the differences for now and maybe tell some people to chill out along the way. There are a ton of doomsday folks out there that are not necessarily helping the situation. I’m not saying ignore any of this, but keep some of these things in mind.

As of today, machines are able to process data faster than we can, which is great for so many reasons. What else is great and amazing is that we as humans also have the ability to think abstractly, strategize, and tap into our thoughts and memories. This helps in making informed decisions or coming up with creative ideas.

This is truly what makes us superior to machines, and it’s really hard to define how all of this works. That in turn, makes it even harder to replicate in machines. So for now, keep learning, stay positive, and check out some sweet reads ⬇️ 

📖 Sweet Reads:

Spotting and combatting AI-Generated text in advance of the next election

Intel is looking at “blood flow” to detect deep fakes 👀 

How AI and ChatGPT May Change Medicine

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