Artificial General Intelligence Is Here, and Impala Is Its Name

As it currently exists, AI shows little ability to transfer learning towards new tasks. Typically, it must be trained anew from scratch. For instance, the same neural network that makes recommendations to you for a Netflix show cannot use that learning to suddenly start making meaningful grocery recommendations. Even these single-instance “narrow” AIs can be impressive, such as IBM’s Watson or Google’s self-driving car tech. However, these aren’t nearly so much so an artificial general intelligence, which could conceivably unlock the kind of recursive self-improvement variously referred to as the “intelligence explosion” or “singularity.”

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Those who thought that day would be sometime in the far distant future would be wise to think again. To be sure, DeepMind has made inroads on this goal before, specifically with their work on Psychlab and Differentiable Neural Computers. However, Impala is their largest and most successful effort to date, showcasing a single algorithm that can learn 30 different challenging tasks requiring various aspects of learning, memory, and navigation.



h/t Digital mix guy