At the beginning of the quarter we co-hosted a successful one-day Futurist AGI Conference in Piedmont (East Bay, CA). We had some excellent speakers and panels, presenting different theories on how to achieve AGI, when and how fast it could happen, and how risky it might be. Special thanks to Hank Pellissier of Brighter Brains Institute. You can find some of the video footage here.
On the more technical side, there was an interesting debate around whether AGI systems need to have models or should be model free in order to achieve human level intelligence. It seemed that the consensus at the end of the debate was that some sort of preliminary scaffolding, or model, is inherently needed.
Over the last 3-4 months we have grown our team substantially and revamped many of our tools while continuing our work on Natural Language parsing, understanding, and learning. Complementing this, we have been working on inference and question-answering in addition to reasoning with temporal and spatial information. We are still targeting a major milestone in early 2016 which includes some ambitious features that we are really excited about!
With Sunny, Andrew, Karina, and Luke joining our team we are now up to 12 staff members, 10 of them full time. We have more than doubled in size since this time last year! While we are not
actively looking for additional people right now, we will consider applications from particularly smart, knowledgeable, and motivated AGI enthusiasts (see our careers page).
Sunny Chea - Jr. Software Engineer Sunny Chea, graduated from the California State University of Long Beach with a B.S. in Computer Science. He previously held a position as a software quality assurance analyst for an eCommerce company primarily identifying and executing test cases. His interests are in how the conscience is achieved and whether or not we can construct a computer system that can provide the same level of intelligence/behavior as humans. He is "...looking forward to learning a lot from working at AGi3, and making contributions to artificial general intelligence research."
Andrew Forrester - AGI Theorist Andrew has a doctorate in physics from UCLA and bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics from California State University, Long Beach. His dissertation dealt with theory and computations in the phase change of superfluidity -- a kind of quantum fluidity. He has also done other work involving computations in electro-magnetic systems and theory in electromagnetism, gravitation, and quantum field theory. While theoretical physics is of great interest to Andrew, he finds the prospect of artificial general intelligence to be a kind of practical and intellectual holy grail, encompassing physics and all other human activities. When he discovered AGi3 and the kind of work being done there to achieve this ambitious goal, he found the idea of working on AGI with the AGi3 team to be irresistible.
Karina Tachihara - AI Psychologist
Karina graduated from University of California, Berkeley where she studied Psychology and Linguistics. She worked as a research assistant for 2 years at a cognitive neuroscience lab under a mentor who researched computational modeling of human learning. As a psychology major, she was responsible for the behavioral experiments that looked into how humans learn categories. However, she was exposed to projects that researched how computers learned categories and how it matched that of human behavior, and became very fascinated by it. Karina hopes to contribute to the field of AGI by researching how language and learning can be incorporated into AGI.
Luke Rosener - AI Psychologist
Luke graduated from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. Previously he worked at the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University on a study detecting signs of conflict in facial expressions. He also assisted at the Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging at Stanford University on various fMRI-based studies. Luke is interested in the cognitive aspects of how information is structured and how newly acquired information is incorporated and later used by both humans as well as AGI processes. One of Luke's favorite research topics focuses on the concept of happiness: its neural structures as well as its cognitive and behavioral influences on people -- and maybe one day its appearance in AGI as well. Luke is passionate about AGI because, as an emerging field, it inspires the imagination to think about the wonders of technology and how closely it can become to being "human."