Chinese scientists have introduced what they call the world’s first AI child. This AI, named Tong Tong, was created by the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI). Tong Tong is a virtual AI avatar, and she was shown to the public in Beijing for the first time.
BIGAI sees Tong Tong as a significant step toward creating a general artificial intelligence (AGI) agent, which is a machine that can think and reason like a human being. The team is led by Zhu Songchun, who is a well-known expert in AI. An AGI agent is different from regular AI because it can perform many different tasks, not just one.
Tong Tong displayed abilities similar to those of a three- or four-year-old child during her debut. She demonstrated skills such as cleaning up, fixing things, and responding to human commands, like fetching a towel to clean up a spill.
What sets Tong Tong apart is her ability to assign tasks to herself without being explicitly told what to do. This level of independence is unprecedented in virtual entities. Additionally, Tong Tong is designed to have emotions and intellect, according to her creators.
The researchers at BIGAI have also developed a new method to test AGI called the Tong test. This test evaluates an AI’s intelligence based on various factors such as vision, language, thinking, movement, and learning. It also considers different values like survival and emotions. The Tong test is crucial for ensuring that AGI can function effectively in human environments and possesses practical skills and values.