Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) reaching human-level intelligence?


In today’s world of science and technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gradually becoming a key topic to both researchers and internet users, what started in the public eyes as a burgeoning field with promising applications and has already snowballed into more than US$80 billion industry where heavy hitters such as Microsoft (Bing), Google, OpenAI are already investing heavily in competing in innovative research on AI.

According to experts, the result of such research works has been increasingly sophisticated large language models, often released in haste and without adequate testing and oversights.

They said, these models can do much of what a human can, and in many cases do it even better and surpass human abilities. Artificial Intelligence can beat humans at advanced strategy games, generate incredible art, diagnose cancers, compose music and even one day – write a full novel or blockbuster movie screenplays. Still some of the researchers say – there is no doubt AI systems appear to be “intelligence to some extent”, but could they even be as intelligent as humans?

According to an article published in Conversation, there is term for – Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Although it’s a broad concept, for simplicity people can think of AGI as the point at which AI acquires human-like generalized cognitive capabilities. In other words, it is the point where AI can tackle any intellectual task a human can.

The Conversation asked five experts if they think AI will ever reach AGI, and all of them said – yes.

Professor Paul Formosa of the Macquarie University said: “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”. That is, it will have achieved proficiency across enough of the interconnected domains of intelligence humans possess. Still, some may worry that – despite AI achievements so far – AI will not really be “intelligent” because it doesn’t (or can’t) understand what it’s doing, since it isn’t conscious.

“However, the rise of AI suggests we can have intelligence without consciousness, because intelligence can be understood in functional terms. An intelligent entity can do intelligent things such as learn, reason, write essays, or use tools.

“The AIs we create may never have consciousness, but they are increasingly able to do intelligent things. In some cases, they already do them at a level beyond us, which is a trend that will likely continue”.

Christina Maher, Computational Neuroscientist and Biomedical Engineer at the University of Sydney said: “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.

“As humans, we learn and experience these traits from the moment we’re born. Our first experience of “happiness” is too early for us to even remember. We also learn critical reasoning and emotional regulation throughout childhood, and develop a sense of our “emotions” as we interact with and experience the world around us. Importantly, it can take many years for the human brain to develop such intelligence.

“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. We are still discovering how AI models should be built, trained, and interacted with in order to develop such traits in them. Really, the big question is not if AI will achieve human-level intelligence, but when – and how”.

Professor Seyedali Mirjalili of the Torrens University said: “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.

“Today the rapid advancement and adoption of AI algorithms, in conjunction with an abundance of data and computational resources, has led to a level of intelligence and automation previously unimaginable. If we follow the same trajectory, having more generalized AI is no longer a possibility, but a certainty of the future.

“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.

“Artificial general intelligence remains a significant challenge, and there are ethical and societal implications that must be addressed very carefully as we continue to advance towards it”.

In my opinion, Artificial Intelligence is going to get as smart as human in multiple ways, but it still remains unanswered how smart it may untimely get, which can possibly be decided by advancements in quantum computing.

According to Dana Rezazadegan, Lecturer in AI and Data Science at the Swinburne University of Technology,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.

“Current models are limited by relatively small and biased training datasets, as well as limited computational power. The emergence of quantum computing will transform AI’s capabilities. With quantum-enhanced AI, we’ll be able to feed AI models multiple massive datasets that are comparable to humans’ natural multi-modal data collection achieved through interacting with the world. These models will be able to maintain fast and accurate analyses.

“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”.

According to a survey conducted in 2022, there is roughly 50 percent chance of us seeing human-level Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2059, which according to my own assumption is a realistic prediction.

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