A recent Bloomberg article dives into the achievements of Jürgen Schmidhuber. In 1997, Schmidhuber’s came up with long short-term memory, or LSTM, a tenet of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). He states “You can write it down in five lines of code. It can learn to put the important stuff in memory and ignore the unimportant stuff. LSTM can excel at many really important things in today’s world, most famously speech recognition and language translation but also image captioning, where you see an image and then you write out words which explain what you see.”
Many of the biggest names in the technology industry are consumed with developing an artificial general intelligence. Unlike today’s leading artificial intelligence software, an AGI wouldn’t need flesh-and-blood trainers to figure out how to translate English to Mandarin or spot tumors in an X-ray. Schmidhuber and others have pursued the quest for an AGI along similar paths, but only in the past six years has the right mix of powerful computers and plentiful data existed to start turning their theories into reality.
As for why he feels the need to help bring this AGI about, he says “it’s in his human nature. One must set the record straight, then advance the record, even if a few people or a few billion get upset along the way. I am a result of this old deterministic but competitive process,” he says. “Basically, I can’t help it.”