As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I want to spend some time talking about Artificial Intelligence. This is a concept that has been prevalent in science fiction for many years but as of 2013, is still very limited in our society. And yet, I believe that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will be the ultimate disruptive technology. I want to expand on this this Friday, but for the next few days I want to lay out some information to set the stage.
Ben Goertzel is a researcher who is trying to create an AI system as smart as a toddler. While this doesn’t sound very useful, it would actually be a revolution in the field. What makes this seem feasible, is the rapid advancement in supporting technologies such as cloud computing and accelerating processing speeds. He’s also taking advantage of crowd funding of his latest project. Here’s a quote from an article (H/T nextbigfuture)
During the past two decades, Goertzel has been developing and perfecting the OpenCOGAI software system. Dr. Goertzel believes that, with sufficient resources and time, OpenCOG could be used to create true machine intelligence. In an effort to expedite the development of OpenCOG, Goertzel has launched a crowdfunding project on indiegogo. This project has the ambitious aim of creating a “Sputnik moment” for the AI field by developing an robot with the proximate intelligence of a child. In an interview with Sander Olson for Next Big Future, Goertzel discusses how the field of AI has changed since 2009, how Artificial General Intelligence could be developed with relatively meager funding, and why the development of machine intelligence may be closer than most people believe.
This OpenCOG system is interesting because it’s an open platform for AI. Theoretically, once it works, this technology could rapidly be adopted around the world. AI is a software innovation, which as I have written, evolves much faster than hardware innovation. (see Hardware Innovation Vs Software Innovation)