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AI takeoff refers to a point in the future where Artificial General Intelligence becomes considerably powerful, probably through Recursive self-improvement. This will lead to an increase in intelligence, and will likely lead to an increase in computing power and other resources. The speed at which an AGI powers may expand is usually split into “soft” and “hard” takeoff scenarios.

Soft takeoff

A soft takeoff refers to an AGI that would self-improve over a period of years or decades. This could be due to either the learning algorithm being too demanding for the hardware or because the AI relies on experiencing feedback from the real-world that would have to be played out in real time. Possible methods that could deliver a soft takeoff, by slowly building on human-level intelligence, are Whole brain emulation, Biological Cognitive Enhancement and software based strong AGI.1 By maintaining control of the AGI's ascent it should be easier for a Friendly AI to emerge.

Vernor Vinge, Hans Moravec and have all expressed the view that soft takeoff is preferable to a hard takeoff as it would be both safer and easier to engineer....

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