General Artificial Intelligence Has A Long Way To Go

Mustafa Suleyman
Co-founder of DeepMind Technologies

Artificial Intelligence or AI, is one of the most anticipated technology of the future. What it does is making computers smarter by learning things the way humans do.

Mustafa Suleyman is the co-founder and the Head of Applied AI of DeepMind Technologies which has been acquired by Google in 2014. The goal of DeepMind is to "solve intelligence and make the world a better place." According to Suleyman, the company wants to build systems that can do things exactly that make humans smart.

"We founded the company on the premise that many of our complex social problems are becoming increasingly stuck."

As computers become more powerful and software become more capable, Suleyman still believes that general learning systems on AI are still decades away.

"When we say it's 20 years out or decades way, we say that it so far out, we can't really measure it." So to wait for that moment to happen, DeepMind remains focused on solving specific issues in order to progress to its main goal.

An example is by working with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK on a project around the early detection of acute kidney injuries. NHS mostly used its own algorithm in its project, and DeepMind is focusing on the front-facing app. In addition to that, DeepMind is also working with the Moorfields Eye Hospital on looking at how it can use the hospital's eye scans to diagnose eye conditions better and faster.

Mustafa Suleyman - TechCrunch

Suleyman argued that the kind of general AI people have been familiar in science fiction movies probably won't be anything like the general AI in the future.

"When it comes to imagining what the future will be like, a lot of that is fun and entertaining, but it doesn't bear a great deal of resemblance to the systems that we are building," he said. "I can't really think of a film that makes me think: yeah - AI looks like that."

As AI progresses, it has seen some human-like resemblance in flaws. And this is natural according to Suleyman. "The way I think about these things is that we are destined to project our biases and judgments into our technical systems."

"And if we don't think consciously as designers and technologists about how we are building those systems, then we will - without realizing it - unwillingly introduce all of those same biases into these systems."

Since acquired by Google, DeepMind has been given a lot of computational resources, and allowed to continue to run independently to control the kind of research it is doing.