Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis recently predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) systems would reach human-level cognition. He gave the prediction a narrow timeframe- over “the next five years” or, at most, “maybe within a decade.”
The Google DeepMind executive made his foray into the technology sector by starting in the gaming industry. Later, he co-founded Google DeepMind, previously known as DeepMind Technologies. The company specializes in making AlphaGo AI systems for beating the world’s top human Go, players.
Arrival Of Machines With Human-Level Cognition Is Imminent, Hassabis
In a recent interview conducted during The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything festival, Hassabis shared his belief with interviewer Chris Mims, saying he believes the arrival of machines with human-level cognition is imminent. In his words:
The progress in the last few years has been pretty incredible. I do not see any reason why that progress is going to slow down. I think it may even accelerate. So I think we could be just a few years, maybe within a decade away.
The comments come barely a fortnight after internal restructuring led Google to declare the Google AI and DeepMind merger into what has been aptly named “Google DeepMind.”
We’re proud to announce that DeepMind and the Brain team from @Google Research will become a new unit: 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱.
Together, we’ll accelerate progress towards a world where AI can help solve the biggest challenges facing humanity. → https://t.co/2pkooMzUvD
— DeepMind (@DeepMind) April 20, 2023
According to DeepMind, Demis Hassabis would lead the new unit, and it would “bring together their talent, infrastructure, and resources to create the next generation of AI breakthroughs and products.” In his attempt to define “AGI,” artificial general intelligence, the Google DeepMind CEO said, “Human-level cognition.”
Noteworthy, currently, no standard definition, test, or benchmark for AGI is conventionally accepted by the science, technology, engineering, and math community. Similarly, there is no unified scientific consensus on whether AGI is even possible.
Nevertheless, certain key personalities like Roger Penrose (Stephen Hawking’s long-time research partner) believe achieving AGI is impossible. On the other hand, others think it could take decades or centuries before scientists, engineers, or both could figure it out. Among the ones who are optimistic about AGI in the near term, or are bullish about a similar form of human-level AI, are Elon Musk and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
Don’t Look Up … but AGI instead of comet
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2023
Artificial General Intelligence Going Mainstream
AGI has become a trendy topic, riding on the wave of ChatGPT launch and many other AI-related products and services over the past few months. Often described as a “holy grail” technology, industry pundits speculate that human-level artificial intelligence could disrupt every angle of life on Earth as we know it.
Nevertheless, if there comes a time when human-level AI is achieved, it could prove disruptive to a wide range of aspects within the crypto sector. In the crypto arena, users could see fully autonomous machines that can act as entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, advisers, and traders, with the intellectual capacity to reason like a human. It can also retain data and execute code just as a computer system would.
Concerning whether AGI agents are capable of serving humankind as AI-powered tools or if they would compete with humans for resources, well, this remains to be seen.
For his part, however, Hassabis did not predict any outcomes. Nevertheless, this is what he told The Wall Street Journal:
Would advocate developing these types of AGI technologies in a cautious manner using the scientific method, where you try and do very carefully controlled experiments to understand what the underlying system does.
Notably, this might stand in contrast to the current landscape, wherein products like Hassabis’ own employer’s Google Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT were recently made available to be used by the public.
According to industry insiders like Altman and Nando de Freitas of OpenAI and DeepMind, these pundits believe AGI could emerge by itself, but this would hinge on developers continuing to advance current models. Further, a Google researcher recently exited the company after alleging that a model christened LaMDA had already become conscious.
Someone’s opinion article. My opinion: It’s all about scale now! The Game is Over! It’s about making these models bigger, safer, compute efficient, faster at sampling, smarter memory, more modalities, INNOVATIVE DATA, on/offline, … 1/N https://t.co/UJxSLZGc71
— Nando de Freitas 🏳️🌈 (@NandoDF) May 14, 2022
Scientists Need Time To Asses Potential Harm
Considering the uncertainty around the development of these technologies and their potential impact on humanity, many people, including Twitter and SpaceX executive Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently signed an open letter requesting companies and individuals developing related systems to halt operations for six months. This grace period would allow scientists to evaluate the potential for harm.
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