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Gigaom AI Minute – March 16

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The Master Algorithm is the topic of today's AI Minute.


The idea that an artificial intelligence might get to some point where it can take over its own development and grow exponentially faster than any human could train it, is an idea that has interested computer scientists and science fiction writers for a long time. We don't see a lot of evidence for it though in kind of our daily world.

What happens in real life is we teach a computer to do something and over time it gets better and better at doing it, but it doesn't necessarily use it to grow new behavior. This isn’t to say it can't do that, it's just that we speculate about the idea far more than we have corollaries to it.

The idea does depend on there being something called, the Master Algorithm—some generalized way to learn new information and take that information and grow it further. We don't know if such an algorithm exists, although many people in the computer science world believe is does. If there is a Master Algorithm, a generalized learner, something that can improve itself and expand its capabilities quickly, then that would imply we might have a general intelligence sooner than you might expect.

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