SingularityNET Founder and CEO Ben Goertzel performs along with the AI robot Desdemona during the Web Summit Rio 2023 at the RioCentro Expo Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 3, 2023. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP
RIO DE JANEIRO: Artificial intelligence could replace 80 percent of human jobs in the coming years — but that’s a good thing, says US-Brazilian researcher Ben Goertzel, a leading AI guru.
Mathematician, cognitive scientist and famed robot-creator Goertzel, 56, is founder and chief executive of SingularityNET, a research group he launched to create “Artificial General Intelligence,” or AGI — artificial intelligence with human cognitive abilities.
Goertzel was in provocateur mode last week at Web Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s biggest annual technology conference, where he told Agence France-Presse in an interview that AGI is just years away and spoke out against recent efforts to curb artificial intelligence research.
As smart as humans?
Q: How far are we from artificial intelligence with human cognitive abilities?
“If we want machines to really be as smart as people and to be as agile in dealing with the unknown, then they need to be able to take big leaps beyond their training and programming. And we’re not there yet. But I think there’s reason to believe we’re years rather than decades from getting there.”
Q: What do you think of the debate around AI such as ChatGPT and its risks? Should there be a six-month research pause, as some people are advocating?
“I don’t think we should pause it because it’s like a dangerous superhuman AI…. These are very interesting AI systems, but they’re not capable of becoming like human level general intelligences, because they can’t do complex multi-stage reasoning, like you need to do science. They can’t invent wild new things outside the scope of their training data.”