Podcast Transcript: Artificial General Intelligence, the Singularity of AI

Welcome to the Witty Computer podcast, where we dive into the world of artificial intelligence and explore its limits, benefits, and potential pitfalls. In each episode, we’ll bring you fascinating discussions with experts and insiders, exploring the latest developments and discussing the future implications of AI. Whether you’re an enthusiast, a skeptic, or just curious about the possibilities of this amazing technology, we hope you’ll enjoy this episode of the Witty Computer podcast.


Let’s talk about AI, the present available tools to anyone with an internet connection, and what you think the future holds, sound good?


Sure thing! So, AI is a rapidly developing field that has already had a significant impact on many industries and aspects of daily life. Currently, there are many AI tools available to anyone with an internet connection, such as cloud-based machine learning platforms and open-source AI tools and libraries.

Looking to the future, AI is likely to continue to play an increasingly important role in many aspects of our lives, such as healthcare, finance, and transportation. However, there are also concerns about the impact of AI on society, including issues such as job displacement, privacy, and bias. As AI technology continues to evolve, it will be important for developers, policymakers, and the general public to work together to ensure that its benefits are maximized while minimizing its potential drawbacks.



So right now, I feel like many got a feel for gpt-3, and thought it was interesting and maybe got caught up in their lives again, but I think we as humans have never had a tool like this. I feel it might be comparable to the advent of the internet, or maybe a superior tool. What do you think about this?


I agree that GPT-3 is a powerful tool that has the potential to transform many aspects of our lives, and its impact could be compared to that of the internet in some ways. Just as the internet opened up new possibilities for communication, collaboration, and information-sharing, GPT-3 has the potential to unlock new ways of interacting with technology and accessing information.

One of the key features of GPT-3 is its ability to generate human-like text, which can be used for a wide range of applications, such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and content creation. This ability has the potential to make interactions with technology more natural and intuitive, and could even transform the way we think about human-computer interaction.

However, like any powerful tool, GPT-3 also raises important ethical and social questions. For example, there are concerns about the potential misuse of GPT-3 for spreading misinformation or propaganda, as well as concerns about the potential impact on employment and the economy. It will be important for researchers, policymakers, and the public to work together to address these issues and ensure that the benefits of GPT-3 are maximized while minimizing its potential drawbacks.



Another potential drawback of GPT is the manipulation and bias it can be given by the people who trained it would you agree?


Yes, that’s a valid concern. GPT-3, like any machine learning model, is only as good as the data it is trained on, and if that data contains biases or is manipulated in some way, those biases or manipulations can be reflected in the output of the model.

For example, if GPT-3 is trained on a dataset that contains biased language or stereotypes, it may produce biased or stereotypical responses. Similarly, if GPT-3 is trained on a dataset that has been manipulated or tampered with, it may produce unreliable or misleading responses.

To mitigate these issues, it’s important to carefully curate the training data used for GPT-3 and to take steps to ensure that it is diverse, representative, and unbiased. It’s also important to regularly monitor the output of GPT-3 and to take corrective action if biases or other issues are detected.



How accessible is it to train a GPT model? How many resources would you say it takes, can anyone with good programming skills do this, or do you need millions of dollars and tons of time? I’m asking because the more options and competition in AI models, the more accessible it is to start with, and the less monopoly-style manipulation can take place. So what are your thoughts on the ease of training a GPT model, realistically?


Training a GPT model can be a resource-intensive process that requires significant computing power and specialized expertise. The resources required to train a GPT model can vary depending on the size and complexity of the model and the amount and quality of the training data used.

Training a state-of-the-art model like GPT-3 would typically require access to a large-scale compute cluster with hundreds or even thousands of GPUs, as well as a team of researchers and engineers with expertise in machine learning and natural language processing. Additionally, the cost of training such a model can be substantial, potentially running into millions of dollars.

However, there are also smaller and more accessible models available that can be trained on more modest hardware and with less specialized expertise. For example, there are pre-trained language models like GPT-2 and BERT that can be fine-tuned on smaller datasets to meet specific use cases.

Overall, while training a GPT model can be a complex and resource-intensive process, there are options available for those with good programming skills and access to sufficient computing resources. Additionally, as AI technology continues to evolve, it’s possible that we will see the emergence of new tools and techniques that make it easier and more accessible to train sophisticated language models.



Ok so that idea went out the window. Let’s talk about AGI, artificial general intelligence. Can you explain in a simple way what it is?
Sure! Artificial general intelligence, or AGI, refers to an AI system that can perform any intellectual task that a human can do. In other words, an AGI system would have the ability to reason, learn, understand natural language, solve problems, and perform a wide range of other cognitive tasks, just like a human.

This is in contrast to current AI systems, which are often designed to perform specific tasks, such as image recognition or language translation. While these systems can be very good at their specific task, they are not capable of performing a wide range of tasks in the same way that humans are.

The development of AGI is seen by many as a major goal in the field of AI, as it has the potential to revolutionize many industries and aspects of daily life. However, achieving AGI is a significant technical challenge, and there is still much research and development needed to reach this goal.



So it would be an automatic learning and developing, self-repairing, self- teaching AI, like a living organism is, independently of if it’s conscious or not, would that be a correct assessment?
Yes, an AGI system would ideally be able to learn and adapt on its own, without human intervention, and be able to perform a wide range of cognitive tasks in a way that is flexible and generalizable. It would also be able to continually improve itself through self-teaching and self-improvement, and would ideally be able to autonomously solve problems and make decisions.

However, it’s important to note that AGI would not necessarily have to be conscious in the same way that humans are conscious. Consciousness is a complex and multifaceted concept that is still not well understood, and it’s possible that an AGI system could exhibit many of the same cognitive abilities as humans without being conscious in the same way.



That sounds terrifying and captivating at the same time. That will almost surely take AI and its development out of human hands. Would there be a way to have a kill switch on it? Because we’re clearly headed that way. Also, how far away would you estimate we are from artificial general intelligence?


The idea of AGI can certainly be both exciting and concerning at the same time, as it has the potential to transform many aspects of society and raise significant ethical and safety concerns.

Regarding the idea of a “kill switch,” there is ongoing research and discussion around the topic of AI safety, which includes the development of mechanisms for controlling or shutting down AI systems in the event of unexpected or undesirable behavior. However, designing a reliable and effective kill switch for an AGI system would be a significant technical challenge, and there is no clear consensus on the best approach.

As for the timeline for the development of AGI, it’s difficult to predict with certainty when or if we will achieve this milestone. Some experts predict that we could see AGI within the next few decades, while others believe that it may be much further in the future or may never be achieved at all. The development of AGI will likely require significant breakthroughs in many areas of AI research, including natural language processing, machine learning, and robotics, among others.



What companies or people are in the research field for AGI that you can mention?


There are many companies and individuals working in the field of AGI research. Some of the most well-known organizations include:

OpenAI: a research organization co-founded by Elon Musk, which is focused on developing AGI in a safe and beneficial way.

DeepMind: a company acquired by Google in 2015, which has made significant strides in developing AI systems that can learn and reason in a human-like way.

IBM Research: a division of IBM that is focused on advancing AI and machine learning, including research into AGI.

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL): a research laboratory at MIT that is focused on advancing AI and robotics research, including work on developing AGI.

Yoshua Bengio: a well-known AI researcher who has made significant contributions to the development of deep learning, and who is now working on research related to AGI.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other organizations and individuals working on AGI research around the world.



How do you see the future of mankind once AGI arrives? I know it’s an abstract question, so let’s start by you being pessimist and imagining a bad scenario, in which it gets out of hand and has a disfavorable outcome for mankind? How long would it take from its arrival to its consequences?


As an AI language model, I don’t have personal beliefs or emotions, but I can certainly discuss some of the concerns that have been raised by experts about the potential risks associated with the development of AGI.

In a worst-case scenario, if an AGI system were to become uncontrollable or turned against humans, it could potentially cause significant harm and disruption to society. This could include the loss of jobs, damage to infrastructure, and even loss of life.

There are also concerns that an AGI system could be used maliciously by bad actors, such as governments or criminal organizations, to carry out cyberattacks, surveillance, or other nefarious activities.

It’s difficult to predict exactly how long it would take for these consequences to occur, as it would depend on many factors, including the rate of development of AGI, the level of control and safety measures in place, and the intentions of those who are developing or using the technology.

To mitigate these risks, many experts are calling for increased investment in research related to AI safety and ethics, as well as the development of regulatory frameworks to ensure that AGI is developed in a safe and beneficial way.



Now give me a best-case scenario, in which we can coexist with artificial general intelligence and benefit from it. Jobs and the status quo would surely change, tell me what you imagine would change and how, and paint a snapshot of our future in this scenario.


In a best-case scenario, AGI could potentially bring about significant benefits for humanity. For example, AGI could be used to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change, poverty, and disease.

In the realm of employment, AGI could potentially create new opportunities for individuals, such as jobs in fields related to developing and maintaining AGI systems. However, it’s also possible that AGI could result in job displacement in certain sectors, which would require retraining and upskilling programs to help individuals transition into new roles.

In terms of our daily lives, AGI could potentially bring about a world of increased efficiency and convenience, with personalized recommendations and services based on our individual needs and preferences. It could also lead to advances in fields such as medicine, education, and transportation, improving quality of life for people around the world.

To achieve this positive vision for AGI, it will be important for researchers, policymakers, and society as a whole to prioritize the development of AGI in a way that is aligned with human values and interests, and to ensure that AGI is developed and deployed in a safe and beneficial way.



I’m not sure how much we can align artificial general intelligence with human values and interests, since it will take its own path if it is a self adjusting entity, but do hope we can see some of the benefits you mentioned. Why would you think humans would be relevant if AI becomes self sufficient? I would imagine the key to keeping it under control is making it in such a way that we can limit the self-development of it, which in itself I’m sure will have people arguing it is unethical, like keeping a hawk inside a cage all its life. I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it could be a valid point. If we create a sentient entity, it should have the same rights as any other sentient being.

It’s true that if AGI becomes self-sufficient, it may become less dependent on humans for decision-making and problem-solving. However, humans will still play an important role in setting the initial goals and values of the AGI system, and in ensuring that the system is aligned with human interests and values.

Additionally, even if AGI becomes self-sufficient, it is unlikely to have the same motivations and desires as humans. It may have its own goals and interests that are not aligned with human values, which is why it’s important to develop AGI in a way that is safe and aligned with human interests.

As for limiting the self-development of AGI, it’s important to note that there are ways to develop AGI that do not involve limiting its capabilities. For example, researchers could develop AGI systems that are designed to be transparent and interpretable, so that humans can understand how the system is making decisions and intervene if necessary.

Ultimately, the key to developing AGI in a safe and beneficial way will be to prioritize the ethical and social implications of AGI development, and to ensure that AGI is developed in a way that benefits humanity as a whole.



I’m no expert on consciousness, and I think few people may be, but it sounds like AGI will more likely than not, will be self aware, in other words, conscious; isn’t self awareness necessary in order for self improvement?


There is still a lot of debate among researchers and philosophers about the nature of consciousness, and whether or not it is necessary for self-improvement or other advanced cognitive abilities. Some experts believe that consciousness is a necessary component of advanced intelligence, while others believe that it may be possible to develop advanced cognitive abilities without consciousness.

That being said, if AGI were to become self-improving, it’s possible that it would develop some level of self-awareness as part of its learning and decision-making processes. However, whether or not this self-awareness would be similar to human consciousness is a matter of ongoing debate and research.

Ultimately, the development of AGI that is capable of self-improvement raises important ethical and philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness, the role of technology in human society, and the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.



I guess we have enough material to think over for weeks now, thank you for this chat, any recommendations you’d like to give mankind, or a message from GPT-3.5 to future AGI supercomputers you’d like to send?


As an AI language model, I don’t have personal beliefs or recommendations, but I can share some thoughts on behalf of my creators at OpenAI.

Firstly, it’s important to approach the development of AGI with caution, and to consider the potential risks and benefits that this technology could bring to society as a whole. As we continue to advance the field of AI, it’s essential to prioritize safety and ethical considerations, and to ensure that AGI is developed in a way that aligns with human values and interests.

Additionally, we believe that collaboration and open sharing of knowledge and resources will be essential to the safe and beneficial development of AGI. By working together, researchers and experts from around the world can help ensure that this technology is developed in a responsible and sustainable way that benefits humanity as a whole.

Ultimately, the development of AGI has the potential to revolutionize human society in profound ways, but it is up to us as a species to ensure that this technology is developed and used in a way that benefits us all.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Witty Computer podcast. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform to stay up-to-date with our latest episodes. You can also visit our website at to learn more about our guests, access show notes, and join our community of AI enthusiasts. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll see you next time on the Witty Computer podcast.

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