Some researchers believe that superintelligence will likely follow shortly after the development of artificial general intelligence or AGI. Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist and machine learning researcher, Max Tegmark thinks that AI will redefine what it means to be human due to the scale of the changes it will bring about.
He describes early life forms such as bacteria as Life 1.0. The rise of Homo sapiens as Life 2.0 and the potential rise of Superhuman AI as life 3.0.
Max Tegmark describes the current status of our modern society as Life 2.1 due to the increase of technological enhancements of our biology.
He worries that the advent of digital superintelligence also known as artificial superintelligence or ASI will bring about drastic change to our society for the better or for worse.
Artificial intelligence today is properly known as narrow AI. It can perform particular functions at the expert level. However current AI lacks common sense and can only deal with a narrow range of situations compared with humans.
Most surveyed AI researchers expect machines to eventually be able to rival humans in intelligence, though there is little consensus on when this will likely happen.
There are many ways in which AI could surpass human intelligence. We are already studying the algorithms of the brain in order to figure out how our own minds work and use that information to make machines more intelligent. Eventually the machines will be capable of self-improvement and the AI will become a self-reinforcing loop.
The first generally intelligent machines are likely to immediately hold an enormous advantage in at least some forms of mental capability, including the capacity of perfect recall, a vastly superior knowledge base, and the ability to multitask in ways not possible to biological entities. This may give them the opportunity to become much more powerful than humans.
While there are many unknowns about the development of intelligent machines and how we should deal with them, there is no question that AI will play a fundamental role in the future of humanity.
Superintelligence does not necessarily have to be something negative. According to Tegmark if we manage to get it right, it might become the best think to happen to mankind.