AGI stands for „Artifical General Intelligence“ and translates as „General Artificial Intelligence“. In the German-speaking world, the abbreviation AKI is therefore also used. It refers to a special form of artificial intelligence that has not yet been achieved. In AGI, artificial intelligence is not only to solve prescribed tasks, as has been the case up to now. Instead, artificial intelligence should be able to develop intellectual abilities that are close to the human brain.
What is AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)? Meaning, explanation, definition
Researchers thus want to create an intelligence that can act autonomously. In this regard, there are initial approaches to advance artificial intelligence, namely in the direction of autonomy. Deep Learning, for example, is modeled on the human brain. The program uses neural networks to process information. A key difference from conventional programs is that Deep Learning is able to learn on its own. At the same time, the approach remains to implement AGI. Currently, artificial intelligence cannot even keep up with small children when it comes to new task environments.
More information on the current state of research and the advantages and disadvantages associated with AGI follows in the rest of the text.
Different forms of artificial intelligence
In the course of the development history different forms of artificial intelligence have been established. Generally speaking, there are also different levels that an Artificial Intelligence can reach.
First, there is Artificial Intelligence with reactive machines. It is the first level of AI. As the wording implies, the AI can only react to fixed situations. The AI can neither learn nor understand facts that are newly added. AI from this spectrum gained notoriety with the Deep Blue chess computer. Feng-hsiung Hsu had started the project in 1985. In 1996, Deep Blue had made history when the computer beat the world chess champion Garri Kasparov.
On the other hand, there is Limited Memory AI. Artificial intelligence has its own „memory“, namely memory space. This is the second level of AI. With this, it is possible for the AI to process larger amounts of data and draw appropriate conclusions. Among other things, this form of AI is present in self-driving cars. The AI can react adequately to certain situations based on the data fed into it.
Finally, there is the third level, which today still belongs to the realm of science fiction. Robots from this AI level should be able to interpret people’s emotions. In the same course, it should be possible for machines to react to certain emotions. With this, robots will be able to interact with their environment – at least according to theory.
The fourth level is AGI and thus the most advanced form of AI. At this stage, robots will be able to do the same things as humans. Machines will have artificial consciousness, so it will be a significant milestone in AI. In this regard, there are already discussions about the extent to which robots have the right to be accepted as full members of society. Along with this, there is discussion about whether robots should be granted human rights.
AGI: Current state of development of AI
Even though digitization is advancing relentlessly, there is currently only moderate success in terms of AGI. According to current researchers, there is still a long way to go before AI reaches the fourth level. Consequently, it may be years or decades before AI reaches the final level. Current AI systems can learn and recognize correlations. Nevertheless, they are not capable of experimenting to design entirely new approaches to solving problems without outside help.
Currently, AI is overwhelmed in new learning environments. The AI needs to be fed information before it can learn new things. This is exactly where machine intelligence differs from human intelligence. Humans are able to cope in new environments. AI is still far from reaching this level of intelligence. Nevertheless, reaching the fourth level remains the primary goal of research. It would revolutionize the scope of robotics.
AGI as an opportunity – keeping an eye on the benefits
AI holds many opportunities for society and politics. Among other things, this will allow robots to take on dangerous tasks that would otherwise have to be performed by humans. Especially in Japan and other Asian countries, AI is being used to make people’s everyday lives easier. In this regard, AI is being used to help people cope with grief.
In South Korea, a television company has shown the potential behind AI. A research team reconstructed the digital identity of a deceased girl. The mother was able to see her daughter again with the help of VR goggles. The team imitated both the daughter’s voice and external appearance. In the near future, AI may help communicate with deceased loved ones.
Robots can also take over tedious work, such as nursing. In Japan, robots are already being used in nursing care. The country is struggling with an aging society. Few countries are struggling as much as Japan. Technology is part of the solution. With this, it is possible to combat the nursing shortage. Robots can, for example, make rounds or help lift patients from their beds.
In addition, AI offers unique opportunities in medicine. It can help diagnose life-threatening diseases even earlier. The advantage of AI is the limitless knowledge available to artificial intelligence. Robots don’t have to undergo advanced training. They can be provided with millions of data sets that are processed by AI. In this regard, AI can already detect cancer on medical images just as well as doctors can.
But the visions go much further, in terms of AGI. In the future, it would be possible for robots to take care of tedious household chores. Along with that, it would be conceivable for them to do the shopping and much more. It would completely change life as people know it now. But it remains a fiction, at least according to current research. In the next few years, we can expect to see new milestones in this field.
AGI as a danger – focus on disadvantages
Movies from Hollywood like to use AI as a possible threat to the existence of mankind. But how realistic are these scenarios? Can AI become the enemy of humans? What dangers arise from the further development of AI? The following are some explanations that shed light.
One silent danger is the job losses caused by AI. With the age of digitalization and automation came empty warehouses. Where hundreds of employees used to work, there are only a handful of employees. Much of the logistical work can be done by robots. Retail giant Amazon recognized the potential of robots, to the detriment of its employees. In early 2023, there was a wave of layoffs. A spokesman announced that up to 18,000 jobs would be cut.
But are there also potential dangers that like to be depicted in movie scenes? In fact, robots also pose a danger to humans, and have done so for many years. In this regard, drone attacks occur time and again. In this way, people can be killed anywhere in the world. Purely theoretically, it is possible to have the drones act autonomously. With this, certain groups of people can be shot at automatically. Consequently, AI may contribute to intensifying conflicts in the future.
Furthermore, AI, especially AGI, poses a threat when it comes to government surveillance. China is a negative example that demonstrates how AI can be used for surveillance. Movement logs can be created and faces can be captured in public places. AI offers numerous opportunities to control people. In the People’s Republic of China, being monitored everywhere is already commonplace. Every year, the government invests millions to expand the surveillance apparatus.
Apart from this, the risks to the human psyche are still unexplored. In this regard, it is not yet clear whether digital copies of the deceased support or inhibit the grieving process. Critics say that in the worst case, it can exacerbate grief. In addition, the extent to which society is willing to accept humanoid robots as part of society cannot be fathomed. It may lead to social conflicts, the outcome of which is uncertain.
Conclusion: What is AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)?
It is impossible to say conclusively when AI will reach the fourth stage. Along with this, it is difficult to estimate the consequences for society. Nevertheless, it is important to address the issues today. In this way, a large part of the population can be made aware of the issue. Technical progress is constantly making great leaps. Consequently, it is significant to prepare for the future.
Fundamentally, AI offers positive changes. In the future, AI will help make people’s lives easier. At the same time, important legislative changes are needed to prevent misuse by AI. Among other things, government institutions have the ability to monitor the population with the help of AI. Therefore, data protection laws are of elementary importance to prevent abuse of power.
Ultimately, AI will enrich people’s lives. The development of AI cannot be stopped, regardless of the potential risks. It is therefore much more important to look for solutions to integrate AI into social life.