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What Would Happen If We Created AGI?

This is the big question surrounding AI. In reality, nobody knows, and I'm not going to claim that I do either. I'm merely going to speculate, hopefully coherently, as to what I think could happen and what I think won't happen if we create AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). The predictions flying around out there are all over the map, so it's likely at least some people will be at least partially right, but things will likely go differently than anyone can possibly imagine simply due to the nature of what we're trying to predict.

This is the third post in this mini-series on AI, inspired by the excellent book Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. In the first post, we defined what intelligence means in the context of developing an artificial intelligence and listed the traits of general intelligence. In the second post, we explored how the characteristics of intelligence enumerated in the first post might develop or emerge in an AGI. In this post we're going to dream. We're going to let our imaginations run a bit wild and try to think about what possibilities would arise with AGI. But first, let's get a little more context.

Is Artificial General Intelligence Possible?

We all know that general intelligence is possible. We have living, breathing proof right in front of the mirror. Humans ask wide-ranging questions, solve general problems, and pursue knowledge with an unending passion. While billions of years of evolution has developed at least one instance of general intelligence, is it possible for that intelligence to create an artificial general intelligence (AGI) capable of similar feats of thought? Until now that is a problem that we have not proven to be solvable, but I am convinced that it is.

In my last post, I listed what I thought was a complete set of traits that defined intelligence. Without any one of these traits, intelligence would be questionable. With all of these traits present, we would almost certainly have intelligence. Now we'll explore these characteristics in more depth to see if and how it would be possible to develop them in an artificial intelligence. We'll start with what the AGI would use as input.