AI Series: MythBuster – AI vs AGI
Published on 24 November 2022 by Jeffrey Wan
Last Christmas at a Christmas gathering, I told my old friends I was working in an AI start-up. I was asked, “Do you look at the camera and let the AI mimic your gesture and voice?” A big but common misconception about AI. Thanks to Hollywood sci-fi movies, in fact, from executives in large companies to laymen, many people still having a misconception of what an AI is: they simply mix up “AI” and “AGI”.
What’s an AI?
AI refers to a machine that can copy human cognitive abilities, including problem-solving and machine learning. Currently, almost all AI technologies fall under artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), which is very good at specific fields. Apparently, DeepTranslate’s translation-specific engine is an ANI; Tesla’s auto-pilot and AlphaGo the Go player are also examples of ANI. Even Siri is also an ANI—Siri is only a natural language processing engine without genuine intelligence.
What’s an AGI?
In contrast, AGI (artificial general intelligence, also called strong AI) is the intelligence of machines that allows them to comprehend and learn ANY intellectual task much like humans. In addition to criteria such as reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning and communication in natural language, AGI should also have the ability to perform innovative and creative tasks. Sophia, a humanoid AI social robot we mentioned last time, despite articulate conversational capability, facial expression and agile hand movement, is still incapable of learning EVERYTHING that a normal human can do, and therefore is not an AGI. Right now, AGI is still beyond feasibility, but in sight, as scientists predict that AGI will be achieved earliest in the 2030s or 40s, due to the speedy development of deep learning in recent years and the vast and capable processing hardware that make computing and algorithm way easier than in the past.
Like most AI start-ups, DeepTranslate builds AI that solves business needs, but we don’t build AGI. So next time when you see an AI developer, try not to ask whether he designs robots that look like Jude Law in the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg!