AI's 'big brass ring' will be worth trillions, ex-Meta executive predicts
- Ex-Meta exec John Carmack predicts that AI will soon simulate the human brain, per Dallas Innovates.
- He said that "artificial general intelligence" will be achieved by the 2030s and be worth trillions.
In just a decade, artificial intelligence may be able to think and act like humans, John Carmack, an American computer programmer predicted in an interview with Dallas Innovates.
The ex-Meta executive and virtual reality visionary said that artificial general intelligence or AGI is AI's "big brass ring" and will become a trillion-dollar industry by the 2030s. AGI — or strong AI, as it's sometimes called — would have the potential to perform complex intellectual tasks, currently only achievable by humans, that far exceed a single AI skill.
Carmack's remarks come as AI technologies like OpenAI's ChatGPT and DALL-E image generators have become wildly popular among curious users and tech experts alike, and as the world begins to grapple with how these tools will alter the fabric of life as we know it.
Since ChatGPT came out in late November 2022, the conversational AI chatbot has already been banned by schools across the world to prevent cheating, used by employees at big companies like Amazon to help with productivity, and inspired publications like CNET and, soon, BuzzFeed to use similar AI tools to produce content — moves that highlight just how far these tools have come in emulating humans.
AI's functions have been so impressive that there have even been conversations emerging around whether AI will replace jobs across many white-collar industries like tech and media.
But Carmack, who was the consulting CTO for Meta's virtual-reality efforts before quitting last December, believes that this is only just the beginning of an AI revolution.
Carmack said in the interview that AI, at the moment, is not capable of truly replicating human brain functions like "consciousness, the associative memory" and "the things that have a life and goals and planning." But given the strides the tech industry has made towards this goal, AGI is certainly possible in the near future.
"I mean, forget human brains; we don't even have things that can act like a mouse or a cat," he said. "But it feels like we are within striking distance of all those things."
Tools like deep fakes, chatbots, and voice synthesis already provide a glimpse into what artificial general intelligence can do, Carmack said. But AGI will be more powerful than that, he added.
AGI — or strong AI, as it's sometimes known — has the potential to perform complex intellectual tasks that go beyond a single AI capability. In Dallas Innovates, Carmack uses the example of AGI making a comic book. An AGI system would be able to come up with a storyline, create the images, and write the dialogue, going beyond a single-function AI system.
Carmack is committed to making the human-like AI a soon-to-be reality, he said. He is now focusing his efforts on his AGI startup Keen Technologies, which received $20 million in funding, he announced last year.
He doesn't just think AGI will be worth a lot of money — he thinks it will also do good in the world.
"The world is a hugely better place with our 8 billion people than it was when there were 50 million people," Carmack told Dallas Innovates. "So, I am confident that the sum total of value and progress in humanity will accelerate extraordinarily with welcoming artificial beings into our community."
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