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Artificial general intelligence (A.G.I.) has been a subject of much speculation and controversy for some time now. 

The basic idea behind the concept is that A.I. can indeed be developed to a point where it basically reaches the full potential of a human intelligence, and then some. 

As of right now, A.I. is slowly growing from its status of being narrow-focused tools to more Swiss Army Knives for automated tasks. 

How Quickly Is A.I. Growing? 

Still, A.I. for the most part tends to be pretty specialized according to the algorithm(s) at work. 

Part of the reason here is cost and just the state of the field. The generative A.I. technology of Silicon Valley is run at incredibly high prices. 

For instance, the majority of billions of dollars that Microsoft invested in OpenAI was spent on cloud computing power (provided by–you guessed it–Microsoft) to run the high-level gen A.I. systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E. 

At this rate, some people believe that A.G.I. is on the horizon. If it is, then it can have a large effect on the business world. 

What Could A.G.I. Do for Business Owners?

Many, many things. 

Businesses would suddenly have truly wide-range capabilities. 

Think of a ChatGPT-type platform that can also adeptly predict customer churn and train new employees on the job. 

Think of A.I. that can play the role of a coworker. It can fluidly go between all of the different areas in the workplace. It can help with your creative team’s marketing content while also helping the finance department balance the sheets. Oh, and assist the IT department in keeping the company’s network safe. 

However, before getting too excited over these possibilities, it is worth understanding that many very smart people doubt that A.G.I. is even possible at all. If that is the case, then we will pretty much always be dealing with A.N.I. (artificial narrow intelligence).

The Polymathic Algorithm 

There are multiple examples of the polymathic potential of individual human beings throughout history. 

Though contemporary society emphasizes the supremacy of the specialists who burrow their noses in a single field to become superstars, the fact of the matter is that the highest human achievements often come from people who choose to follow a more polymathic approach to work. 

A.G.I. is basically trying to mimic this polymathic potential that is seen in humanity. Think of an A.I. that can both write a great essay and perform brain surgery with an up-to-par success rate. That is what we are looking at here. 

Human Intelligence Is Potentially General, But Does A.I. Have That Potential?

Think of Leonardo da Vinci’s literally priceless paintings and his contributions to mathematics and science.

We can also see that Pierre de Fermat proved that a practicing lawyer can also be a great mathematician

And who could forget the example of Benjamin Franklin, whose contributions to diplomacy and science are commendable? 

These three examples highlight the ability of human intelligence to be truly general, in that many people have the capacity to naturally excel in more than just one chosen field of specialty. 

Although as human specialists choose to monomaniacally divide and conquer in their own fields, the achievements become higher. So do the barriers to entry. And so it is increasingly becoming the case that human individuals will be less likely to see the virtues of using their innate “general” intelligence potential at the cost of competing in their chosen field of choice, which will become more and more unintelligible to the lay people as the fields develop. 

Differing A.I. Fields

Of course, this does not mean that a human being can excel in just anything. Some individuals have greater talents in certain areas. But this is the thing about A.G.I.–there is no genetic makeup holding A.I. back from excelling in certain fields. 

However, it may have computational limits that can challenge the very possibility of obtaining A.G.I.

This is because of the controversy of A.G.I. lies in certain doubts that it is even possible to actually (no matter theoretically) create an A.I. system that is so sophisticated that it can indeed adapt and excel in just about anything you throw its way. 

The doubts largely have to do with the nature of A.I.’s intelligence, which many believe is doomed to be an uncreative rule-following entity that only has the trappings of creativity. 

Others simply think the technology required to run A.G.I. is simply impossible to actually be created and, even if created, to run for it to make economic sense. 

Another issue is that many people believe that human generality depends on consciousness. Most people agree a machine cannot possess this. 

NVIDIA’s CEO Has Claimed that A.G.I. Will Be Here by the End of the Decade

This guy is worth listening to because NVIDIA pretty much provides the much-needed chips to A.I. companies. 

But such a provocative statement may be just that: an attempt at provocation and gathering further investment hype from people who do not really understand A.I. at all, let alone A.G.I.

Because so much money is on the line for A.I. companies, and the field is developing so quickly that it is almost generating hype by virtue of the speed of development, it can be useful to keep a healthy skepticism about you when it comes to the prospects of A.G.I. 

But for now, one thing is certain: A.N.I. is here to stay, and is developing at a lightning-fast pace.