The Present State of AI
When you hear the term “Artificial Intelligence or AI,” it really refers to narrow AI—a system which may have superhuman “mental” abilities, but only in a narrow area of expertise. AIs now have expert credentials at many games and can find data correlations and patterns that no human mind could ever uncover. But even with these achievements, nothing approaching human’s common sense has emerged.
What will it take for AI to evolve into truly intelligent, thinking machines, or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)? To take the next step on the road to genuine intelligence, consider emulating a child playing with blocks. Children learn through multiple senses and through interaction with objects over time.
A child, of course, has the advantage over AI in that he or she learns everything in the context of everything else. Today’s AI has none of this context. Images of blocks are just different arrangements of pixels. Neither an AI which is specifically image-based nor an AI which is primarily word-based will have the context of a “thing” which exists in reality, is more-or-less permanent, and is susceptible to basic laws of physics.
Building an Artificial Three-Year-Old
How to store the diverse information needed to evolve from AI to AGI is part of the challenge and how your brain does this is not fully understood. The Universal Knowledge Store (UKS), however, represents one possible explanation. The UKS is an example of what is called a “Graph” (from mathematics and computer science) which consists of many “nodes” connected by “edges” or “links”.
The UKS is loosely analogous to the brain’s neurons connected by synapses, but there are significant differences. Nodes in the UKS are completely abstract and have meaning only in relation to other nodes, just as individual neurons have no meaning. The UKS represents information collectively in the links connecting the nodes. These links are directional and may have a “weight”.
Consider that a child (or an AGI) sees a blue square. Visual processing identifies the properties of the object, one of which is its “blueness” and another of which is its “squareness”. There is no technical limit to the number of properties an object might have. These are links to other abstract nodes.
In the UKS, all blue objects link to the blue node, and the weight of the link indicates the importance of blueness in identifying the object. In the UKS, links can also be followed in reverse so seeing one blue thing can “bring to mind” many other blue things.
Adding language to the mix illustrates some complexity. The abstract “blue” node, for example, must be distinct from the node of the word “blue.” In fact, we might have multiple words related to any node, including synonyms and multiple languages. We hear speech as a continuous stream of phonemes (or syllables) and, over time, the repetition of the phoneme sequence blu (using the International Phonetic Alphabet) at the same time as activating the abstract blue node by seeing blue strengthens the link between the word and the abstract …read more
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