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Ben Goertzel

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Ben Goertzel
Goertzel giving a talk at the Web Summit 2019 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Born (1966-12-08) 8 December 1966 (age 57)
Occupation(s)CEO and founder of SingularityNET

Ben Goertzel is a computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, and businessman. He helped popularize the term 'artificial general intelligence'.[1][non-primary source needed]

Early life and education[edit]

Three of Goertzel's Jewish great-grandparents emigrated to New York from Lithuania and Poland.[2] Goertzel's father is Ted Goertzel, a former professor of sociology at Rutgers University.[3] Goertzel left high school after the tenth grade to attend Bard College at Simon's Rock, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Quantitative Studies.[4] Goertzel graduated with a PhD in mathematics from Temple University under the supervision of Avi Lin in 1990, at age 23.[5]


7 November 2017; Sophia the Robot, Chief Humanoid, Hanson Robotics & SingularityNET, and Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics & SingularityNET, at a press conference during the opening day of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon.

Goertzel is the founder and CEO of SingularityNET, a project which was founded to distribute artificial intelligence data via blockchains.[6] He is a leading developer of the OpenCog framework for artificial general intelligence.[7][non-primary source needed]

Sophia the Robot[edit]

Goertzel was the Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, the company that created the Sophia robot.[8] As of 2018, Sophia's architecture includes scripting software, a chat system, and OpenCog, an AI system designed for general reasoning.[9] Experts in the field have treated the project mostly as a PR stunt, stating that Hanson's claims that Sophia was "basically alive" are "grossly misleading" because the project does not involve AI technology,[10] while Meta's chief AI scientist called the project "complete bullshit".[11]

Views on AI[edit]

Ben Goertzel at Brain Bar

In May 2007, Goertzel spoke at a Google tech talk about his approach to creating artificial general intelligence.[12] He defines intelligence as the ability to detect patterns in the world and in the agent itself, measurable in terms of emergent behavior of "achieving complex goals in complex environments".[13] A "baby-like" artificial intelligence is initialized, then trained as an agent in a simulated or virtual world such as Second Life[14] to produce a more powerful intelligence.[15] Knowledge is represented in a network whose nodes and links carry probabilistic truth values as well as "attention values", with the attention values resembling the weights in a neural network. Several algorithms operate on this network, the central one being a combination of a probabilistic inference engine and a custom version of evolutionary programming.[16]

The 2012 documentary The Singularity by independent filmmaker Doug Wolens discussed Goertzel's views on AGI.[17][18]

In 2023 Goertzel postulated that artificial intelligence could replace up to 80 percent of human jobs in the coming years "without having an AGI, by my guess. Not with ChatGPT exactly as a product. But with systems of that nature".[citation needed] At the Web Summit 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Goertzel spoke out against efforts to curb AI research and that AGI is only a few years away. Goertzel's belief is that AGI will be a net positive for humanity by assisting with societal problems such as, but not limited to, climate change.[19][20]


  • Ben Goertzel (1992). The Structure of Intelligence: A New Mathematical Model of Mind. Springer.
  • Ben Goertzel (1992). The Evolving Mind. Gordon and Breach.
  • Ben Goertzel (1994). Chaotic Logic: Language, Thought, and Reality from the Perspective of Complex Systems Science. Plenum.
  • Ben Goertzel and Ted Goertzel (1996). Linus Pauling: A Life in Science and Politics. Basic.
  • Ben Goertzel (2001). Creating Internet Intelligence. Springer.
  • Ben Goertzel (2005). Artificial General Intelligence. Springer.
  • Ben Goertzel (2006). Probabilistic Logic Networks: A Comprehensive Framework for Uncertain Inference. Plenum.
  • Ben Goertzel (2006). The Hidden Pattern: A Patternist Philosophy of Mind. Brown Walker.
  • Ben Goertzel (2007). The Path to Posthumanity. Academica.
  • Ben Goertzel (2010). A Cosmist Manifesto: Practical Philosophy for the Posthuman Age. Humanity+ Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2011). Real-World Reasoning: Scalable Spatial Temporal and Causal Inference. Atlantis Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2012). Theoretical Foundations of Artificial General Intelligence. Atlantis Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2014). Engineering General Intelligence, Volumes 1 & 2. Atlantis Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2014). Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies. Humanity+ Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2014). Ten Years to the Singularity If We Really Really Try. Humanity+ Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2015). The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity. Humanity+ Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2016). AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence. Humanity+ Press.
  • Ben Goertzel (2018). The Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports. McFarland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who coined the term "AGI"? » goertzel.org". Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018., via Life 3.0: 'The term "AGI" was popularized by... Shane Legg, Mark Gubrud and Ben Goertzel'
  2. ^ Ben Goertzel: Artificial General Intelligence | AI Podcast #103 with Lex Fridman, YouTube, 22 June 2020
  3. ^ Pauling's Prizes, The New York Times, 5 November 1995
  4. ^ Goertzel, Benjamin (1985). Nonclassical Arithmetics and Calculi. Simon's Rock of Bard College.
  5. ^ Ben Goertzel at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (20 October 2018). "How the Blockchain Could Break Big Tech's Hold on A.I." The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Background Publications - OpenCog". wiki.opencog.org. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  8. ^ Vincent, James (10 November 2017). "Sophia the robot's co-creator says the bot may not be true AI, but it is a work of art". The Verge. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  9. ^ Urbi, Jaden; Sigalos, MacKenzie (5 June 2018). "The complicated truth about Sophia the robot — an almost human robot or a PR stunt". CNBC. Archived from the original on 12 May 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  10. ^ Vincent, James (10 November 2017). "Sophia the robot's co-creator says the bot may not be true AI, but it is a work of art". The Verge. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  11. ^ Ghosh, Shona (4 January 2018). "Facebook's AI boss described Sophia the robot as 'complete b------t' and 'Wizard-of-Oz AI'". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  12. ^ Goertzel, Ben (30 May 2007). "Artificial General Intelligence: Now Is the Time". GoogleTalks Archive. Retrieved 31 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Roberts, Jacob (2016). "Thinking Machines: The Search for Artificial Intelligence". Distillations. 2 (2): 14–23. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Online worlds to be AI incubators", BBC News, 13 September 2007
  15. ^ "Virtual worlds making artificial intelligence apps 'smarter'" Archived 21 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Computerworld, 13 September 2007
  16. ^ "Patterns, Hypergraphs and Embodied General Intelligence", Ben Goertzel, WCCI Panel Discussion: "A Roadmap to Human-Level Intelligence"[permanent dead link], July 2006
  17. ^ "The Singularity: A Documentary by Doug Wolens". Ieet.org. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Pondering Our Cyborg Future in a Documentary About the Singularity – Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg". The Atlantic. 8 January 2013. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  19. ^ "AI could probably make 80% of jobs obsolete: AI guru Ben Goertzel's revelation". businesstoday.in. 11 May 2023. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  20. ^ "A scientist says the Singularity will happen by 2031". popularmechanics.com. 9 November 2023. Retrieved 26 November 2023.

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