Currents 072: Ben Goertzel on Viable Paths to True AGI

Jim talks with Ben Goertzel about the ideas in his recent essay “Three Viable Paths to True AGI.” They discuss the meaning of artificial general intelligence, Steve Wozniak’s basic AGI test, whether common tasks actually require AGI, a conversation with Joscha Bach, why deep neural nets are unsuited for human-level AGI, the challenge of extrapolating world-models, why imaginative improvisation might not be interesting to corporations, the 3 approaches that might have merit (cognition-level, brain-level, and chemistry-level), the OpenCog system Ben is working on, whether it’s a case of “good old-fashioned AI,” where evolution fits into the approach, why deep neural nets aren’t brain simulations & attempts to make them more realistic, a hypothesis about how to improve generalization, neural nets for music & the psychological landscape of AGI research, algorithmic chemistry & the origins of life problem, why AGI deserves more resources than it’s getting, why we may need better parallel architectures, how & how much society should invest in new approaches, the possibility of a cultural shift toward AGI viability, and much more.

Dr. Ben Goertzel is a cross-disciplinary scientist, entrepreneur and author.  Born in Brazil to American parents, in 2020 after a long stretch living in Hong Kong he relocated his primary base of operations to a rural island near Seattle. He leads the SingularityNET Foundation, the OpenCog Foundation, and the AGI Society which runs the annual Artificial General Intelligence conference. Dr. Goertzel’s research work encompasses multiple areas including artificial general intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, virtual worlds, gaming, parapsychology, theoretical physics and more. He also chairs the futurist nonprofit Humanity+,  serves as Chief Scientist of AI firms  Rejuve, Mindplex, Cogito and Jam Galaxy, all parts of the SingularityNET ecosystem, and serves as keyboardist and vocalist in the Jam Galaxy Band, the first-ever band led by a humanoid robot.