Ben Goertzel

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Ben Goertzel
Dr Ben Goertzel.jpg
Goertzel after giving a talk at the 2009 Humanity+ Summit in Irvine, California
Born (1966-12-08) December 8, 1966 (age 54)
OccupationCEO and Founder of SingularityNET

Ben Goertzel is an artificial intelligence researcher.

Early life and education[edit]

Three of Goertzel's Jewish great-grandparents emigrated to New York from Lithuania and Poland.[1] Goertzel's father is Ted Goertzel, a former professor of sociology at Rutgers University.[2] 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.[3] Goertzel graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from Temple University under the supervision of Avi Lin in 1990.[4]


Goertzel is the CEO and founder of SingularityNET, a project combining artificial intelligence and blockchain to democratize access to artificial intelligence.[5] He was a Director of Research of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (formerly the Singularity Institute).[6] He is also chief scientist and chairman of AI software company Novamente LLC; chairman of the OpenCog Foundation; and advisor to Singularity University.[citation needed]

Goertzel was the Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, the company that created Sophia the Robot.[7]

Views on AI[edit]

In May 2007, Goertzel spoke at a Google Tech talk about his approach to creating Artificial General Intelligence.[8] 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".[9] A "baby-like" artificial intelligence is initialized, then trained as an agent in a simulated or virtual world such as Second Life[10] to produce a more powerful intelligence.[11] 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.[12]

The 2012 documentary The Singularity by independent filmmaker Doug Wolens showcased Goertzel's vision and understanding of making general AI general thinking.[13][14]

Ben Goertzel at Brain Bar

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ben Goertzel: Artificial General Intelligence | AI Podcast #103 with Lex Fridman, YouTube, 22 June 2020
  2. ^ Pauling's Prizes, The New York Times, 5 November 1995
  3. ^ Goertzel, Benjamin (1985). Nonclassical Arithmetics and Calculi. Simon's Rock of Bard College.
  4. ^ Ben Goertzel at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ Popper, Nathaniel. "How the Blockchain Could Break Big Tech's Hold on A.I." The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  6. ^ "The Singularity Institute's Scary Idea (and Why I Don't Buy It)", The Multiverse According to Ben, 29 October 2010
  7. ^ Vincent, James. "Sophia the robot's co-creator says the bot may not be true AI, but it is a work of art". The Verge. The Verge. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  8. ^ Google Tech Talk by Ben Goertzel, 30 May 2007
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Online worlds to be AI incubators", BBC News, 13 September 2007
  11. ^ "Virtual worlds making artificial intelligence apps 'smarter'" Archived 21 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Computerworld, 13 September 2007
  12. ^ "Patterns, Hypergraphs and Embodied General Intelligence", Ben Goertzel, WCCI Panel Discussion: "A Roadmap to Human-Level Intelligence"[permanent dead link], July 2006
  13. ^ "The Singularity: A Documentary by Doug Wolens". Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Pondering Our Cyborg Future in a Documentary About the Singularity – Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg". The Atlantic. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.

External links[edit]