The vast bulk of the AI field today is concerned with what might be called “narrow AI ” – creating programs that demonstrate intelligence in one or another specialized area, such as chess-playing, medical diagnosis, automobiledriving, algebraic calculation or mathematical theorem-proving. Some of these narrow AI programs are extremely successful at what they do. The AI projects discussed in this book, however, are quite different: they are explicitly aimed at artificial general intelligence, at the construction of a software program that can solve a variety of complex problems in a variety of different domains, and that controls itself autonomously, with its own thoughts, worries, feelings, strengths, weaknesses and predispositions. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) was the original focus of the AI field, but due to the demonstrated difficulty of the problem, not many AI researchers are directly concerned with it anymore. Work on AGI has gotten a bit of a bad reputation, as if creating digital general intelligence were analogous to building a perpetual motion machine. Yet, while the latter is strongly implied
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