Why making pretend people with AGI is a waste of energy

Industrial revolution didn't give us human mimics, so why should AI think like us, this computer scientist wonders

Interview While the likes of OpenAI and Google DeepMind chase after some fabled artificial general intelligence, not everyone thinks that's the best use of our time and energy in developing AI.

Computer scientist Binny Gill – CEO and co-founder of business automation firm Kognitos, and formerly chief architect and cloud CTO at Nutanix – thinks the push for AGI is the entirely wrong approach in what could be the next industrial revolution. Rather than trying to replicate humans with some kind of general-purpose artificial intelligence, Gill thinks we should look to the past to see what sort of systems we should be building.

"I believe that we need to learn from the industrial age a bit and see how we had offloaded manual labor, and then take those learnings and figure out how we can offload mental labor," Gill told The Register.

"We created a whole plethora of different looking machines. And they were not mimics of human arms and legs. Cars don't have legs. Elevators don't have arms to climb up ropes."

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Gill instead hopes we'll see the rise of what he calls artificial narrow intelligence, or ANI. This isn't a new concept; it's the sort of application-specific machine learning that already exists behind things like self-driving cars.

And even if machines end up with intelligence and superhuman abilities, we still need to be in the loop. "It takes a human to decide eventually what is right and what is wrong," Gill told us. "You need the Iron Man inside the suit."

To learn more about Gill's optimistic vision for the future of AI, watch our full video interview with him by clicking on play above. ®

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