‘There’s Just No Doubt That It Will Change the World’: David Chalmers on V.R. and A.I.

Prashanth Ramakrishna in the New York Times:

Prashanth Ramakrishna: Artificial general intelligence, A.G.I., is a system capable, like us humans, of performing open-ended tasks independent of specific problems or contexts — conversation, common-sense reasoning, experiential learning and so on. The popular science fiction example is HAL 9000 from the film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Is A.G.I. achievable? And if it is, does our civilizational conversation seem sufficiently robust on this topic?

David Chalmers: I think artificial general intelligence is possible. Some people are really hyping up A.I., saying that artificial general intelligence is just around the corner in maybe 10 or 20 years. I would be surprised if they turn out to be right. There has been a lot of exciting progress recently with deep learning, which focuses on methods of pattern-finding in raw data.

Deep learning is great for things we do perceptually as human beings — image recognition, speech recognition and so on. But when it comes to anything requiring autonomy, reasoning, decisions, creativity and so on, A.I. is only good in limited domains. It’s pretty good at playing games like Go. The moment you get to the real world, though, things get complicated. There are a lot of mountains we need to climb before we get to human-level A.G.I. That said, I think it’s going to be possible eventually, say in the 40-to-100-year time frame.

Once we have a human-level artificial intelligence, there’s just no doubt that it will change the world.

More here.