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How Far Are We From Achieving Artificial General Intelligence? Posted on : Jun 10 - 2019

These days, when you browse the internet for news on artificial intelligence, you’ll find out about new AI that just managed to do something humans do, yet far better. Present day AI can detect cancers better than human doctors, build better AI algorithms than human developers, and beat the world champions at games like chess and Go. Instances like these may lead us to believe that perhaps, there's not a whole lot that artificial intelligence can not do better than us humans. The realization of AI’s superior and ever-improving capabilities in different fields has evoked both hope and caution from the global tech community as well as the general public. While many believe the rise of artificial general intelligence can massively benefit humanity by raising our standard of living and status as a civilization, some believe the development may lead to global doom.

While the debate on whether the development of artificial general intelligence or artificial superintelligence is promising or pernicious rages on, the jury on when such advanced forms of AI will come into existence is also still out. These are important questions that do deserve the coverage and debate they are subjected to. However, before worrying about the future of AI it is necessary to first know what artificial general intelligence exactly is, what it would take to achieve it, and how far existing AI capabilities are from getting there.

What is the current state of artificial intelligence?

The internet abounds with stories of stunning applications that exist today, culminating from years of artificial intelligence research. Similar to the aforementioned example of AI systems that can diagnose cancers with greater accuracy than human doctors, there are many other fields where specialized artificial intelligence is replicating human-like reasoning and cognition.

For instance, deep learning algorithms used by social media sites are becoming increasingly adept at recognizing objects, people, and even detailed characteristics of these objects and people. Modern computer vision technology driven by deep learning can now identify people in images posted to social media, the position of the person in the image, their expressions, and any accessories they might be wearing. This gives AI systems the ability to perceive images similar to the way humans do. These systems can go beyond simply identifying people from images and even analyze subtle patterns to discern non-obvious attributes. One example is a Stanford University study that shows how deep neural networks can identify people’s sexual orientation just by analyzing their faces -- an ability that is highly unlikely to be present in humans. View More