Wednesday, March 15, 2017

AGI: some things are not serious

Through a circuitous route, I came upon Ben Goertzel who might be called the Godfather of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Dr Ben Goertzel

I read his paper (PDF), "Are there Deep Reasons Underlying the Pathologies of Today’s Deep Learning Algorithms?" which makes some interesting 'nod the head as you go along' points, but stops before saying anything truly novel.

From Goertzel's 'Pathologies' paper 

I was sufficiently interested to look up Dr Goertzel - he has his Wikipedia entry - and a more flagrant piece of self-satisfaction I have seldom encountered.

I dug deeper, checking out his overview article on AGI, (Artificial General Intelligence: Concept, State of the Art, and Future Prospects), on the eponymous website's resources page. It's a type of article I'm very familiar with: intellectual polyfilla - entirely sparkle-free.

I have read papers which crackle with intelligence, where paradigms are overturned and you suddenly see a new and powerful way of looking at the world: AGI is not it. So I think it's fair to say that no-one has a clue what the architecture or design of an artificial general intelligence would look like, or a plausible narrative as to how to get there.

AGI-17 will be hosted in Melbourne

It doesn't stop them having beautiful conferences in nice places though.


In something completely unrelated, I have been mentioning Arthur Koestler's famous and profound novel, 'Darkness at Noon' in recent posts. I recall reading one of his lesser novels, 'The Call-Girls'. Kirkus Reviews starts its description thus:
"The call girls are academic habitués of vacuous international conferences, one of which takes place here in an Alpine village. ... "
Some phenomena are always with us.

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