What is artificial general intelligence (AGI)?

An artificial general intelligence (AGI) is most commonly defined as an AI that can do essentially all of the cognitive tasks that humans do at a comparable or higher performance level. AGI is often contrasted with narrow AI systems, which can only perform one specific task or a few closely related tasks, such as playing board games or recommending products. AGI does not exist yet, but it may be built in the not-too-distant future.

Current narrow AI systems are much more domain-specific than AGI. We don’t know what the first AGI will look like. For instance, GPT-4 is a giant prediction model which, when trained on a vast amount of text, seems to learn how to learn and do all sorts of highly-impressive things; a related model can generate pictures from text. Some people think that scaling up the GPT architecture may be sufficient to produce AGI, while others disagree and think a fundamental new insight into the nature of intelligence is needed before we can build AGI.