CambridgeAGI is a nascent global (albeit Cambridge-UK-centric) collaboration of professional AI researchers, domain experts, enthusiasts, and other interested parties seeking to realise the successful design, development, and deployment of Big Mother, a proposed design for a safe, benevolent, goal-directed, superintelligent machine (Artificial General Intelligence) whose dominant goal is to "maximise human happiness, both individually and as a population, while minimising the standard deviation of human happiness over the population", thereby allowing future generations of humans to devote 100% of their time to leisure and pleasure.
Yes, it's an ambitious objective. No, it won't be easy - and it's certainly not for the faint hearted!
But try to imagine what will happen if we don't build Big Mother. Even though contemporary (narrow) AI-based systems possess limited cognition (relative to the human archetype), commercial forces (the relentless, insatiable need for competitive advantage and growth) will inexorably drive profit-motivated AI businesses to enhance the cognitive abilities of their AI-based products and services “one investment cycle at a time” until, ultimately, these systems will have evolved into genuine AGI, at which point they will possess maximal cognition and thus be capable of performing any economic task (job) currently performed by humans, a long-term process we refer to as “AGI-by-stealth”. Thus, AGI will eventually become reality whether we develop Big Mother or not.
The profit-motivated AGI-by-stealth endgame, however, is (we believe) one in which the vast majority of the world’s wealth is owned by a tiny proportion of its population (the AI-owners), and non-AI-owners compete for the steadily-shrinking pool of jobs which can't be done more cheaply by intelligent machines (even pre-AGI, just 1% of the world’s population owns half the planet’s wealth, while the bottom 70% of the working age population accounts for just 2.7% of global wealth, a situation that AGI-by-stealth will greatly exacerbate).
In 2015, the late theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen Hawking summarised this default AGI endgame as follows: “If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”
We agree - "utopia for the few, dystopia for the many" will be the AGI-by-stealth default unless we deliberately engineer a more utopian, philanthropic, non-profit-motivated alternative. Big Mother is proposed as that alternative.
With the long-term welfare of billions of people at stake, Big Mother must be crafted with consummate skill and care, and, despite what some AGI optimists might predict, the successful design, development, and deployment of a safe, benevolent AGI such as Big Mother is realistically going to take decades, and cost billions.
Which brings us to by far the greatest obstacle to the humanitarian application of AI: humanity itself. Short-term individual, organisational, and national self-interest are far stronger motivators than the long-term benefit of all mankind, and we will need to overcome all of these, in addition to the considerable technical challenges.
So, if you're up for a challenge, for doing something beyond oneself, CambridgeAGI - the "volunteer army" of the Big Mother project - needs you!
Anyone with a degree-level education in any discipline is welcome to join CambridgeAGI, and to attend meet-ups, but we welcome in particular domain experts and professional researchers active in the following fields: artificial intelligence, safety-critical systems, ethics, consciousness, formal program specification and verification, mathematical logic, metamathematics, automated theorem-proving, parallel computing, hardware acceleration, machine learning, set theory, probability theory, belief theory, denotational semantics, process algebras, complexity analysis, decision theory, formal refinement, automated program synthesis, automated hardware synthesis, quantum computation, pattern recognition, epistemology, belief maintenance, natural language processing, vision, robotics, robo-education (educating intelligent machines, from tabula rasa to post-graduate), emotional intelligence, happiness economics, business communications (web, video, events, PR), marketing, and nonprofit fundraising. Can you see yourself on this list...? Join CambridgeAGI today!
By joining CambridgeAGI, you will have an opportunity to learn about, and potentially contribute to, the design, development, and deployment of a "Good Old Fashioned AI + Machine Learning" hybrid (Big Mother) having ultimately maximal cognition, integrating many AI and other technical disciplines, with the ultimate objective of maximising the happiness of all mankind. Be warned: it's highly addictive! :-)