March 03 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Technology Year: 2013 Rating: 8
For the better part of two decades Peter Voss has been hard at work developing what he hopes will be the world’s first funtional Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). His company, Adaptive AI, believes that with the right amount of man-power this goal is well within reach, and far earlier than you may think is possible.
“Personally, I would be surprised if it’s more than ten years before we have human level, or effective AGI, and I think it could be quite a bit less than that, as little as five years,” predicts Voss in his recent audio interview with Future Blogger.
Any such breakthrough would indeed be a game changer, transforming almost every existing industry. Voss is particularly excited about just this sort of cascade.
“AGI will allow us to accelerate nanotech development, medical research, that will allow us to deal much better with all sorts of problems, of course disease and aging, but also just reduce the cost of production of all sorts of goods and foods very dramatically and also helped with environmental issues so there will be a snowballing effect started by AGI development,” he argues, then qualifies as any careful futurist should, “In terms of what will happen and in what year and what chain of events, I have no way of really putting any more numbers on that.
“Once we have machines that are as smart as humans and we can employ them to help us develop other technologies I think things will happen quite quickly. ... You can do a lot of simulations but ultimately they have to be tested in real humans and that takes time. So it’s very difficult to predict the interaction between those various dynamics.”
When asked if he sees this as an industry that can produce a trillion dollar company inside of 10 years, Voss’ unhesitating response is a simple, “Yes.”
And what are the odds that this will be Adaptive AI?
“I think we have a reasonable chance,” says Voss, “but there are lots of things, all sorts of funding and finding the right people. It’s not just the technologies, developing the technologies is one thing but of course you need to turn that into the kind of business and have the right group running the business and dealing with regulatory and all sort of business issues, competitive issues, the staff and growth and funding. One needs to get most of those right to build a successful company.”
He concludes, “[A]t this point it looks like we have a chance at being a dominant player in the AGI field, perhaps the dominant player in the AGI field.”
While he may be biased, Voss’ certitude and the scale of his operation indicate that his estimations about the AI timetable should be considered very carefully.
If you enjoyed this brief, be sure to check the transcript of our full-length audio interview with Peter Voss.