Generative AI has become firmly entrenched in the culture zeitgeist, and everyone from computer scientists to social media mavens is tuned in, looking ahead to the next great leap: the singularity, the moment when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence—and escapes human control. Before the mainstream adoption of generative AI, and broadening worries about the dangers of the technology, experts and theorists have speculated that the singularity is decades away, giving humans time to prepare for a world transformed by artificial intelligence and supercomputers. However, Ben Goertzel, CEO of AI and blockchain developer SingularityNET, believes the advent of artificial general intelligence (AGI) is years, not decades away.
The technological singularity is a hypothetical future point where technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, leading to drastic unforeseeable changes in human civilization. Detractors and skeptics may balk at the idea of computers becoming as intelligent or even more intelligent than humans. According to Goertzel, developing AGI comes from the same drive that led to other human advancements, such as the shift from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one. AGI describes artificial intelligence that can learn and perform any intellectual task a human can. Those pursuing AGI include Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who launched xAI in July with the goal of an unbiased and transparent AGI. AGI is one of the key mileposts on the road to the singularity.
This news means that the development of AI is happening faster than expected, and is driven by many different factors such as curiosity, money-making, and national defense. Although AGI could bring many benefits to humanity, Goertzel cautions that values change with time, so care should be taken to ensure AI is not following outdated values. This news could be seen as both good and bad, as it brings both potential benefits and potential risks.
You can read more about this topic here: Decrypt: The Singularity Is Less Than 10 Years Away, Says AI Veteran