Approaching General AI challenge with an Animal-AI Olympics

How do you approach a really hairy problem like developing a General AI? Well, nature solved it the evolutionary way ie by means of competition. So why not use the model of competition?

Another problem is defining “general” in general AI, so why not just compete with the real thing?

And why start with humans, the most difficult intelligent species on the planet? Why not with some of the other intelligent species we have around us?

The $10,000 competition will test AI with challenges that were originally designed to test animal cognition—to see how close we are to machines that have common sense.

The Animal-AI Olympics is going to treat AI like a lab rat – MIT Technology Review

For many years there was, what considered a weird, competition between university labs who were trying to drive unmanned cars in the desert (DARPA Grand Challenge). Until someone finally succeeded… And now it is considered a clever approach.

The challenge is to understand how the deeper structures causing intelligent behavior is built.

“I believe that to have AI perform as intelligently as an animal requires building some of that innate structure into the system,” says Anthony Zador, a professor of neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “How you do that is a difficult question that no one has an answer to yet.”

I think having a competition which inspires people to new creative approaches is a really interesting approach to the General AI problem.