I made a general intelligence who will replace me, so that’s good.
Over the last 23 years or so I’ve had an active project of trying to develop an embodied general intelligence (EGI). In case you haven’t heard about EGI, an embodied general intelligence is a form of intelligence that behaves exactly like a human adult intelligence — it’s both rational and irrational, creative and analytic, communicative and secretive — depending on the circumstances. Just as with a human adult intelligence, you can’t easily predict which circumstances will lead to which behaviors. The key difference here is that instead of being embodied in a flawed and failing human body, an EGI is contained in a relatively flawless, relatively healthy, relatively young human body.
I don’t mean to sound grandiose, but in the past few months it has become clear that this project has actually worked for real.
I’m not saying it was easy — there were times when I thought it would never happen. Like the 100th time about 8 years ago my EGI told me he no longer needed my advice on how to develop his debate arguments, but clearly he actually did. Yet thanks to luck, an array of rich learning materials, guided discussions and lots of desperate prayer, his self-awareness grew every year. Now my EGI acknowledges that a lean and not-very-mean hardworking team has greatly contributed to his success: three parents, six grandparents, two aunts, an uncle, and the EGI himself. It’s this maturity that has made me realize that my EGI is going to replace me.
Self-awareness grew with every year, and now my EGI acknowledges that a lean and not-very-mean hardworking team has greatly contributed to his success: three parents, six grandparents, two aunts, an uncle, and the EGI himself.
Don’t get me wrong about my concern about human intelligences being replaced. I’m definitely concerned about AGI (artificial general intelligence) making humans feel even less joyful and even less like we have anything of value to offer. This a big concern because it turns out that in order to feel truly human, we need to feel like we can contribute to something larger than ourselves. Building anything that could make us feel that our contributions are meaningless or without uniqueness must be done carefully, if at all.