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AGI: Will AI achieve a level of critical reasoning and intuition that reaches or surpasses humans?

By Lee Cleveland - April 23, 2023

Artificial intelligence has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. It has gone from being a largely theoretical concept to a practical reality that is impacting our lives in powerful ways.

Initially seen as a promising, yet harmless industry, the applications of AI have since gained considerable momentum and has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Major players in this sector such as Microsoft, Google, and OpenAI now compete against each other rigorously in order to lead the market.

Due to the competitive nature of the AI industry, more and more advanced language models are being rolled out without enough testing or control, leading to an alarming increase in the sophistication and complexity of these models.

AI models are increasingly becoming capable of taking on many of the sophisticated tasks humans can. Not only can they perform better than us in complex strategy games, but they also have the ability to generate artwork, detect cancer and even compose music.

There’s no doubt AI systems are smarter than humans. Hence, they can hold billions of times more information and process data much faster. However, can AI systems ever be as “intelligent” as humans?

In other words, can AI can achieve a level of intuition and critical reasoning necessary to tackle any intellectual task a human can?

AI researchers commonly strive for Artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI signifies the threshold where artificial intelligence can gain human-level cognitive competence, including the potential to learn independently, deduce answers, and solve a wide range of problems.

AGI has huge potential to revolutionize areas such as healthcare, finance, and transportation. As we move forward, it is extremely important to weigh the pros and cons of incorporating it into our lives. We must consider the possible benefits and risks that could arise from using AGI in society.

AGI is something we are still striving for, as current AI models are still limited when it comes to traits such as creativity and true emotional understanding. We haven’t been able to make the same advancements with AI that humans have achieved over time.

TheConversation asked 5 experts if they think AI will ever be able to reason like a human. And all 5 said yes.

Paul Formosa
AI and Philosophy of Technology

“AI has already achieved and surpassed human intelligence in many tasks. It can beat us at strategy games such as Go, chess, StarCraft, and Diplomacy, outperform us on many language performance benchmarks, and write passable undergraduate university essays.”

“Of course, it can also make things up, or “hallucinate”, and get things wrong – but so can humans (although not in the same ways).”

“Given a long enough timescale, it seems likely AI will achieve AGI, or “human-level intelligence”’.

Christina Maher
Computational Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

“AI will achieve human-level intelligence, but perhaps not anytime soon. Human-level intelligence allows us to reason, solve problems and make decisions. It requires many cognitive abilities including adaptability, social intelligence, and learning from experience.”

“AI already ticks many of these boxes. What’s left is for AI models to learn inherent human traits such as critical reasoning, and understanding what emotion is and which events might prompt it.”

“AI hasn’t acquired these capabilities yet. But if humans can learn these traits, AI probably can too – and maybe at an even faster rate.”

Seyedali Mirjalili
AI and Swarm Intelligence

“I believe AI will surpass human intelligence. Why? The past offers insights we can’t ignore. A lot of people believed tasks such as playing computer games, image recognition, and content creation (among others) could only be done by humans – but technological advancement proved otherwise.”

“It is just a matter of time. AI has advanced significantly, but not yet in tasks requiring intuition, empathy, and creativity, for example. But breakthroughs in algorithms will allow this.”

“Moreover, once AI systems achieve such human-like cognitive abilities, there will be a snowball effect and AI systems will be able to improve themselves with minimal to no human involvement. This kind of “automation of intelligence” will profoundly change the world.”

Dana Rezazadegan
AI and Data Science

“Human intelligence isn’t as simple as knowing facts. It has several aspects such as creativity, emotional intelligence and intuition, which current AI models can mimic, but can’t match. That said, AI has advanced massively and this trend will continue.”

“Having an advanced version of continual learning should lead to the development of highly sophisticated AI systems which, after a certain point, will be able to improve themselves without human input.”

“As such, AI algorithms running on stable quantum computers have a high chance of reaching something similar to generalized human intelligence – even if they don’t necessarily match every aspect of human intelligence as we know it.”

Marcel Scharth
Machine Learning and AI Alignment

“I think it’s likely AGI will one day become a reality, although the timeline remains highly uncertain. If AGI is developed, then surpassing human-level intelligence seems inevitable.”

“Humans themselves are proof that highly flexible and adaptable intelligence is allowed by the laws of physics. There’s no fundamental reason we should believe that machines are, in principle, incapable of performing the computations necessary to achieve human-like problem-solving abilities.”

“Furthermore, AI has distinct advantages over humans, such as better speed and memory capacity, fewer physical constraints, and the potential for more rationality and recursive self-improvement. As computational power grows, AI systems will eventually surpass the human brain’s computational capacity.”