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View Artificial general intelligence

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds human intelligence; the intelligence of a machine that can successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can. It is a primary goal of artificial intelligence research and an important topic for science fiction writers and futurists. AGI is also referred to as strong AI and has the ability to perform “general intelligent action.” Science fiction associates strong AI with such human traits as consciousness, sentience, sapience and self-awareness.

Artificial General Intelligence research aims to create AI that can replicate human-level intelligence completely. Many different definitions of intelligence have been proposed (such as being able to pass the Turing test), but there is to date no definition that satisfies everyone.

As yet, mainstream researchers have devoted little attention to AGI, with some claiming that intelligence is too complex to be completely replicated in the near term. Some small groups of computer scientists are doing AGI research, however. Organizations pursuing AGI include the Adaptive AI, Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Texai.

The term Artificial General Intelligence distinguishes work on AGI from more mainstream, less ambitious,“narrow AI” projects. Narrow AI is very good at a specific task, such as playing chess, but is not capable of readily adapting to new tasks and being applied to other uses. Unlike AGI, narrow or “weak AI” is simply the use of software to study or accomplish specific problem solving or reasoning tasks that do not encompass - or in some cases are completely outside of - the full range of human cognitive abilities.

Some believe that a simulated human brain model could be one of the quickest means of achieving strong AI, as it would not require complete understanding of how intelligence works. A very powerful computer would simulate a human brain, often in the form of a network of neurons. Another alternative strategy is to begin an AI as a blank slate in a virtual world, and allow it to grow and learn in an interactive social simulation such as Second Life and become an increasingly powerful AGI.

IEET Links:
Artificial General Intelligence and the Singularity
Past and Present of Research on Artificial General Intelligence
IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel

Wikipedia on Strong AI
Nine Years to a Positive Singularity