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Artificial General Intelligence and the Path to CyberImmortality. Dr. Ben Goertzel, CEO/CSO 240-505-6518. Varieties of Immortality. Biological Immortality Potentially achievable via pharmacology or nanotech Cyber-immortality

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Artificial General Intelligence and the Path to CyberImmortality

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Artificial General Intelligenceand the Path to CyberImmortality

Dr. Ben Goertzel, CEO/CSOben@novamente.net240-505-6518

Varieties of Immortality

Biological Immortality

  • Potentially achievable via pharmacology or nanotech


  • Immortality via perpetuation of the mind and/or body in a computational medium different from the original one

  • “Uploading”

    Various forms of partial immortality

  • Writing books

  • Having children

  • etc.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Immortality Institute

Tim Fonseca (Artificial Platelets)

Philosophical Issues with CyberImmortality

  • Is my upload “me”, or just a clone of me?

  • This problem may apparently be circumvented by gradual uploading

  • We must accept the possibility of one “me” branching into multiple experientially genuine me’s

Philosophical Issues with CyberImmortality

  • Self, free will and consciousness are in large part “illusory”

    • See e.g. Thomas Metzinger, Being No One

  • Perpetuating these illusions is part of making the human mind immortal

  • Transcending these illusions and becoming truly transhuman may well be in the cards

    • To what extent are transcendence and immortality contradictory?

Patternist Philosophy

  • Minds are systems of patterns that achieve goals by recognizing patterns in themselves and the world

  • Cyberimmortality is about digitally replicating these pattern-sets

Approaches to CyberImmortality

  • Scan the brain and copy the information into a computer

  • Scan the brain and move the information, bit by bit, into a computer (gradual uploading)

  • Gather information about an individual’s properties, and create a computer program displaying these same properties

    • To what extent will that individual’s “unique self” emerge from this computer program?

Obstacles to Practical Cyberimmortality

  • Inadequate brain scanning technology

  • Inadequate and inappropriate computer hardware

  • Lack of a detailed understanding of relevant psychological phenomena like self and awareness

A Modest Proposal

Before messing around with uploading humans via various methods -- why not experiment with “uploading” intelligent software programs first?

How much can we change the

  • Embodiment

  • Environment

  • Capability set

    of an AI program, and still have it feel like the same continuous self?

Uses of AI for CyberImmortality

  • Artificial scientists may help us figure out how to scan brains and build appropriate computer hardware

  • AI minds may serve as subjects for experimenting with the nature of consciousness, self and mind-transformation

Varieties of AI

Narrow AI systemsare highly restricted in the types of patterns they can recognize/create

Totally general intelligenceis only possible given infinite computational/physical resources

Pragmatic Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) Systemspossess the capacity to self-reflect and flexibly learn so as to continually expand the scope of patterns they can deal with

  • The first Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute ( Workshop was held May 2006 in N. Bethesda, MD, sponsored by Novamente LLC


  • IBM has agreed to co-sponsor the next Workshop - Fall of 2006

This edited volume -- the first ever to focus exclusively on Artificial General Intelligence -- is edited by AGIRI/Novamente LLC founders Dr. Ben Goertzel and Cassio Pennachin and contains chapters by leaders of AGI research, at universities, corporations and research institutes around the world.A partial author list includes:

-Ben Goertzel (Novamente LLC)

-Cassio Pennachin (Novamente LLC)-Marcus Hutter (IDSIA)

-Juergen Schmidhuber (ISDIA)

-Pei Wang (Temple University)

-Peter Voss (A2I2)

-Vladimir Redko (Keldysh Institute)

-Eliezer Yudkowsky (SIAI)

-Lukasz Kaiser (Aachen Univ. of Technology)

  • Ray Kurzweil and some other leading futurists advocate a long-term approach to AGI via brain mapping

  • Major projects such as IBM’s Blue Brain and Artificial Development’s Ccortex are working in this direction.

  • However, this approach requires AGI engineers to sit and wait for decades while neuroscientists figure out how to better map the brain, and the computer engineers build better hardware

  • Rather than waiting for the neuroscientists, the Novamente AGI design fills the knowledge gap via appropriate deployment of computer science

  • This approach may feasibly lead to AGI equaling or surpassing human level intelligence before 2020.

Novamente AI Engine

~100K lines of C++ code

Design detailed in several hundred pages of mathematical, conceptual and software design documents

Coding of overall system ~40% complete

Novamente AI Engine

Components of the system have been commercially deployed

  • Biomind OnDemand product for bioinformatic data analysis

  • ImmPort: NIH Web portal with Biomind/Novamente based analytics on the back end

  • INLINK language processing system developed for INSCOM (Army Intelligence)

Atoms associated in a dynamic “map” may be grouped to form new Atoms:the Atomspace hence explicitly representing patterns in itselfThe “phenomenal self” is one example of a reflexive pattern of this type.

Goal For Year One After Project Funding

Fully Functional Artificial Infant

Able to learn infant-level behaviors "without cheating" -- i.e. with the only instruction being interactions with a human-controlled agent in the simulation world

Example behaviors: naming objects, asking for objects, fetching objects, finding hidden objects, playing tag

System will be tested using a set of tasks derived from human developmental psychology

Within first 9 months after funding we plan to have the most capable autonomous artificial intelligent agent created thus far, interacting with humans spontaneously in its 3D simulation world in the manner of a human infant


The Novamente Team

  • Bruce Klein – President, Novamente LLC

  • Cassio Pennachin – Chief Architect, Novamente AI Engine

  • Andre Senna – CTO

  • Ari Heljakka – Lead AI Engineer

  • Moshe Looks – AI Engineer

  • Izabela Goertzel– AI Engineer

  • Murilo Queiroz – AI Engineer

  • Welter Silva – System Architect

  • Dr. Matthew Ikle’ – Mathematician

Dr. Matthew Ikle’

Bruce Klein

Dr. Moshe Looks

Ari Heljakka

Dr. Ben Goertzel

Izabela Goertzel

2006 Workshop Sponsored by Novamente LLC)

Cassio Pennachin

Thank You

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