AI: The emerging Artificial General Intelligence debate


Since Google's artificial intelligence (AI) subsidiary DeepMind published a paper a few weeks ago describing a generalist agent they call Gato (which can perform various tasks using the same trained model) and claimed that artificial general intelligence (AGI) can be achieved just via sheer scaling, a heated debate has ensued within the AI community. While it may seem somewhat academic, the reality is that if AGI is just around the corner, our society--including our laws, regulations, and economic models--is not ready for it. Indeed, thanks to the same trained model, generalist agent Gato is capable of playing Atari, captioning images, chatting, or stacking blocks with a real robot arm. It can also decide, based on its context, whether to output text, join torques, button presses, or other tokens. As such, it does seem a much more versatile AI model than the popular GPT-3, DALL-E 2, PaLM, or Flamingo, which are becoming extremely good at very narrow specific tasks, such as natural language writing, language understanding, or creating images from descriptions.

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