Human-like AI quest drives general AI development efforts

Last updated:April 2019

Editor's note

While AI technologies can do things humans can't, they're currently limited to specific and straightforward tasks -- a state known as narrow AI. A big goal -- or holy grail -- for developers is to create human-like AI tools that think the way people do.

Estimates of how long it will take to make so-called general AI a reality range from a few years to more than a century. Much work lies ahead. "We will not get there using the techniques we have today," Raj Minhas, head of the AI research lab at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, told TechTarget contributor Maria Korolov.

This guide compiles stories on the push toward human-like AI and the challenges that AI vendors and users must overcome.

1Eyeing general AI tools and applications

General AI goes by several other names: general-purpose AI, strong AI, artificial general intelligence. The different terms all refer to efforts to apply human-like intellectual capabilities and thought patterns to AI tools to make them useful in a wider range of applications. The stories in this section look at how general AI could expand the technology's use.

2New technologies hold general AI promise

Human-like AI functionality isn't being developed in a vacuum. Emerging analytics technologies incorporate features that take some initial steps toward general AI, with expectations of expanded capabilities in the future. The items included in this section examine how technical advances in areas like deep learning and quantum computing could aid general AI efforts.

3Hurdles on the road to human-like AI

For now, general AI lives in the future. The current technical limitations of AI tools restrict their uses and often require oversight from human workers to check the output of AI algorithms for accuracy and relevancy. This section features articles on the technology barriers that developers face as they look to move from narrow to general AI.