An Artificial Human for 2020 from Samsung

Samsung Neon

Have you ever met an “Artificial?” Samsung plans to introduce us to one next week at CES 2020. At the moment, there is very little information about what Neon is or might be. Samsung has an uninformative twitter account @neondotlife, a teaser website and not much else.

A couple of things have been circulating. Samsung posted, “Neon = Artificial Human” implying that this AI model will mimic the behaviors of human beings. Samsung also denied that Neon will be related to Bixby (Samsung’s version of Siri) in any way.

We’ll have the answer early next week and we’ll have Grace Dolan, Samsung’s VP of Home Entertainment Marketing on stage at our Innovation Series Summit at CES 2020 (request your invitation here) to tell us all about it.

Until then, let’s ponder what an artificial human might be. At the moment all AI models are intelligence decoupled from consciousness. To our knowledge, AI models are not conscious — at least not the way biological humans can understand consciousness.

AI models are intelligent. They can do tasks that are outside the capabilities of humans. But, and this is very important, AI models are single purpose tools that are created to do specific tasks such as recognition (faces, voices, patterns, pictures, etc.) or to generate images or sounds.

All current machine intelligence systems fall into a category that can be generally described as Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). So far, an ANI that has been trained to play Go or recognize faces has not been able to apply what it has learned to a different task. That kind of computational power would be known as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Although these terms and definitions are not universally accepted as nomenclature, the concepts of narrow AI and general AI are constantly referenced. The generally accepted idea is that an AGI would have the flexibility to learn anything or everything. This is a capability that, at the moment, has only been demonstrated by human brains.

Will Neon be a very impressive ANI or is Samsung about to announce a version of AGI? Will Neon be a parlor trick or a paradigm shift?

My guess is that it will be an ANI impressively coded to make us think it is more powerful than it actually is. I’m guessing this because I have a personal prediction about AGI.

The follow-on to AGI is Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) which, at the moment, is science fiction. This would be the next step in computer evolution. A computer that could learn anything and everything at computer speeds.

My prediction, which is absolute speculation and a pure guess, is that if Samsung had created any version of AGI, it would have taken only a matter of hours for it to evolve into ASI. Mathematician and physicist John von Neumann called machines that can build machines “universal assemblers.” The idea being that a machine that can build other machines is the last machine you ever have to build.

Once an AI model can learn anything at computer speeds, humans will cease to understand how it works, what it knows, how it learns or what its capabilities are. AI models may not be conscious, but they work at computer speeds.

I’m looking forward to meeting Neon. I’m hoping it is an impressively coded ANI or group of ANI models. I don’t think the world is quite ready for AGI (or ASI) just yet. On the other hand, it may be just what we need right now! We’ll know in less than a week. See you at CES!


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

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