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What is Artificial General Intelligence?

While many developers are still nailing down the basics of AI, some, including Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, are already focusing on the next generation of AI technology. Known as artificial general intelligence, or AGI, this breakthrough has the potential to outperform all existing AI platforms – once it’s been fully realized.

How AGI Differs from AI

Modern AI systems are highly innovative in their own right. They’re capable of processing data at astounding speeds, creating actionable insights from that data, and, in some cases, even playing games at a competitive level. Some AI platforms are trained in concepts such as natural language processing or image recognition, which helps them learn even more artificial knowledge as time goes on.

But AGI takes it one step further. While the technology has yet to be fully realized in any form, AGI is expected to perform even more similarly to the way a human brain processes information. As such, AGI should be able to employ concepts like abstract and contextual reasoning to answer the most hyper-specific questions and queries. Moreover, AGI platforms will also be able to learn from past experiences.

Enter Mark Zuckerberg

While there has been some interest expressed in AGI from a few different groups, none are as enthusiastic as Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg recently explained his long-term goals surrounding AGI in a series of online posts by saying: ''“Our long term vision is to build general intelligence, open source it responsibly, and make it widely available so everyone can benefit. We're bringing Meta's two major AI research groups (FAIR and GenAI) closer together and growing both teams to accelerate our work. We're building a massive amount of infrastructure. At the end of this year, we'll have ~350k Nvidia H100s -- and overall ~600k H100s H100 equivalents of compute if you include other GPUs.”

He concluded his string of posts by saying:
“The two major parts of our vision -- AI and the metaverse -- are connected. By the end of the decade, I think lots of people will talk to AIs frequently throughout the day using smart glasses like what we're building with Ray Ban Meta.”

The Reality of AGI

It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg is serious about his desire to usher in the age of AGI, but, even he is hesitant to attach a definition to the term.

Per a recent interview with The Verge, he was quoted as saying:
“I don’t have a one-sentence, pithy definition. You can quibble about if general intelligence is akin to human level intelligence, or is it like human-plus, or is it some far-future super intelligence. But to me, the important part is actually the breadth of it, which is that intelligence has all these different capabilities where you have to be able to reason and have intuition.”''

For now, it seems that the arrival of AGI will be a long-term process. It’s also expected to occur gradually, instead of hinging on one specific breakthrough moment or another. Unfortunately, we’re still not sure what kind of timeline we’re looking at.


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