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How multi-skilled AI could chart a path to human-like intelligence

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AI is a field that’s flooded with buzzwords. Ideally, terms like cognitive computing and big data help distill complex concepts into digestible ideas. But they can also confuse and mislead the public.

“Artificial general intelligence” (AGI), for instance, is often used to describe hypothetical machines that can perform any intellectual task that a human can. But there’s no consensus on what AGI means. Some AI luminaries believe that the term is a misnomer, while others argue that it could never be realized.

A more comprehensible concept could be “multi-skilled AI.”

Multi-skilled AI is an approach to improving technologies by expanding their senses. In a similar way to how kids learn through perception and talking, multi-skilled AI systems combine senses and language to broaden their understanding of the world.

“It goes beyond image or language recognition and allows multiple tasks to be done,” Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review, tells TNW.