In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), an outstanding exhibit at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology in Beijing, China allowed visitors to interact with an avatar representing a child AI named Tong Tong.
Created by scientists from the Beijing Institute of General Artificial Intelligence, Tong Tong is not just a simulation of a child's behavior, it is a real virtual entity capable of performing tasks within its digital environment.
The brainchild of Zhu Songhun, the founder of an institute specializing in artificial intelligence that mimics human behavior, Tong Tong goes beyond imitation. She has the ability to distinguish between good and bad, express opinions in different situations and has the power to shape the future, as highlighted in the institute's video.
Tong Tong's cognitive abilities extend to understanding common sense as taught by humans. Scientists at the institute proposed the Tong test last year — a sophisticated evaluation consisting of nearly 150 questions. This test aims to assess the sophistication of AI models across five measurable dimensions: vision, language, cognition, emotion and learning.
In addition, it takes into account social and group values to determine how well the model conforms to general artificial intelligence. The ultimate goal, according to Zhu, is to advance toward general artificial intelligence by creating entities capable of understanding the real world and possessing a wide range of skills.
He emphasizes the need to develop entities such as Tong Tong, which could potentially be a first step in that direction. While AI is often compared to a child in the learning process, Tong Tong goes beyond this analogy by showing a nuanced understanding of morality, expressing opinions and influencing future outcomes.
The exhibition provides insight into the strides that have been made in the field of AI, pushing the boundaries of what was once considered mere machine learning into the realm of entities with the potential for true understanding and decision-making.
It is creations like Tong Tong that pave the way for general artificial intelligence, paving the way for a future where AI will have its own degree of intelligence.