This question is on the minds of many people, and it starts with, when will we have general artificial intelligence?
Today we have the belief that general artificial intelligence will be represented by a robot, capable of doing things as we see it in the movies.
This idea is not separate from what would be a general artificial intelligence, since it involves elements we know today:
What is general artificial intelligence?
The easiest way to define or understand what would be general artificial intelligence is that through the use of technology, an entity can be capable of performing any physical or intellectual task equal or better than a human being.
Being able to determine what characteristics this artificial intelligence would have is like trying to guess the future, however several experts have defined certain traits that it should possess.
The first feature would be that a strong AI or general artificial intelligence is capable of passing the turing test absolutely.
This test consists of a person or entity being unable to distinguish between a human being and a machine.
For more information regarding this test you can check this link: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing-test/
The second feature is what is understood as the ability to reason.
Currently artificial intelligence can reason based on the information that we humans provide, however the expectation is higher.
It must be capable of generating ideas, strategies, judgments and all kinds of information in scenarios not foreseen by its creators.
The third feature is that to have knowledge, but above all, to have the ability to know if your action process falls within the parameter of “common sense”.
Humans base our actions on the knowledge that we “have stored” and we use common sense to obtain a result.
Depending on the result we seek, we use the knowledge we possess, inferring based on the problem that knowledge will be useful to us.
As simple as this activity may seem to a human, this type of deduction for a machine is complex, even if it is capable of having all the knowledge in the world.
The fourth feature is that it is capable of having a self awareness of existence, and with this a purpose adaptable to the changes that may occur in its environment.
At the moment an entity is able to understand that it is “alive”, it must define a purpose for its creation, and define actions according to this definition.
This trait intersects a lot with the interpretation of consciousness, however as we will see many times, even among humans, consciousness is a term without a complete definition.
The fifth feature is that it can learn on its own.
Currently there are branches of science and technology that have managed to create machine learning.
The difference between this and a general artificial intelligence is that the learning that a machine has is currently based on the teaching that the human being offers it.
Sure, with superior processing and analysis capabilities, but ultimately the result will be within what is known to humans.
The idea of this learning is that you can use the above features such as generating knowledge, reasoning, being aware and creating new learning, fresh and probably outside of what we currently know as humanity.
The sixth feature, and the one I consider to be more due to human adaptation to this process, is that it is capable of communicating normally with other living beings or entities.
This means that their existence is physical or visible to other people.
This relationship is based on the last adaptive trait of a general artificial intelligence.
Robotics is the field of science that is responsible for enabling hardware to be able to perform useful activities or with a palpable benefit.
A robotic solution does not necessarily have to be intelligent, it would be enough that it provides a skill to a human being that it does not possess naturally.
However, today artificial intelligence and robotics are closely linked, since as time passes, the definition of robotics is incorporating intelligence as an essential part.
Currently artificial intelligence can be associated with a robot, however the idea of integrating general artificial intelligence with a robot is something that is far from being a reality.
This is a matter of speculation and discussion among artificial intelligence experts.
To start answering this without giving the reader an unrealistic expectation, there is no consensus, to the extent that there are experts who claim that in a period of 10 years, others of 100 and others that we will never be able to see something like this.
This step on the path of artificial intelligence has been called the singularity.
That moment in time where precisely, the necessary elements combine to be able to generate something that did not exist before and that changes the course of things.
Examples of singularities would be the Big Bang, or the creation of life on earth.
We are currently in an accelerated process of artificial intelligence and looking directly or indirectly for the creation of this general entity capable of performing the previously mentioned features.
There is no satisfactory answer, it may be that in 10 years, in 50 or maybe never.
There are experts who affirm that humanity will not survive for aspects other than artificial intelligence long enough to create it.
And even creating it, there are still pending issues such as:
Will it be a harmful intelligence?
Will it take control of intelligence on the planet?
What benefits can it bring for the human being?
At the moment all this is speculation, where there is no doubt that this topic is something that, in one way or another, generates hope for life extension, cure diseases and even explore deep space.
So for the time being, with what we currently know we can rule out Skynet or the Matrix creators emerging soon.