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posted by Fnord666 on Friday November 15 2019, @12:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the skynet-anyone? dept.

John Carmack Sets Out To Create General AI

John Carmack, programmer extraordinaire, and developer of seminal titles like "Doom" and "Quake" has said "Hasta La Vista" to his colleagues at Oculus to to set out for a new challenge. In a Facebook post ( he declares that he is going to work on artificial general intelligence.

What are the chances he can pull it off, and what could go wrong?

John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project `Before I get too old'

John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project `Before I get too Old':

Legendary coder John Carmack is leaving Facebook's Oculus after six years to focus on a personal project — no less than the creation of Artificial General Intelligence, or "Strong AI." He'll remain attached to the company in a "Consulting CTO" position, but will be spending all his time working on, perhaps, the AI that finally surpasses and destroys humanity.

AGI or strong AI is the concept of an AI that learns much the way humans do, and as such is not as limited as the extremely narrow machine learning algorithms we refer to as AI today. AGI is the science fiction version of AI — HAL 9000, Replicants and, of course, the Terminator. There are some good ones out there, too — Data and R2-D2, for instance.

[...] Carmack announced the move on Facebook, where he explained that the uncertainty about such a fascinating and exciting topic is exactly what attracted him to it:

When I think back over everything I have done across games, aerospace, and VR, I have always felt that I had at least a vague "line of sight" to the solutions, even if they were unconventional or unproven. I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn't in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.

Skynet? Singularity? With great power comes great responsibility. Can he do it? Should he?

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  • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Friday November 15 2019, @09:16PM (1 child)

    by stormreaver (5101) on Friday November 15 2019, @09:16PM (#920801)

    AI is the study, in part or in whole, of replicating human intelligence with man-made machines. No more, no less.

    I agree with you here, but then you go on to list three out of four examples that violate your definition. Those three examples are better classified as expert systems, not artificial intelligence.

    I have a different definition of what I would consider true artificial intelligence: a system that combines software and hardware which can be taught to do arbitrary things it wasn't programmed to do, and to do so without any additional programming. It gets even closer if it is programmed with no predispositions, but finds some things it observes to be interesting, and other things to be uninteresting. Such a system would be able to identify its own weaknesses and strengths, and decide what it wants to do about them (if anything).

    The closer we get to that ability, the closer we get to artificial intelligence. At this point, we're not even a single step closer to that than we were 50 years ago.

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  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday November 15 2019, @09:30PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday November 15 2019, @09:30PM (#920810) Journal

    They attempt to replicate one aspect of human intelligence, that's why I said part or whole. Whether the technologies contained therein can scale up to replicate all of it is irrelevant.