Unlike traditional large language models in AI, Tong Tong possesses the ability to independently assign tasks to herself, which makes it much closer to Iron Man’s Jarvis than any other AI bots we have had. Representational Image. Image credit: Marvel Studios

Remember Iron Man’s virtual, AI assistant Jarvis, that was instrumental in making Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark one of the most popular superheroes in recent movie history? A China-based AI scientist has developed the world’s first AI entity that closely resembles the iconic virtual assistant in intellect and emotions.

The only difference here is that while MCU’s Jarvis powered Tony Stark’s entire house and more importantly, helped him control the Iron Man suit, the real-world Jarvis is an AI entity formed based the characteristics on a young girl, and hence has been named, Tong Tong, or Little Girl.

Developed by the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI), Tong Tong was unveiled at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology Exhibition held in Beijing

Tong Tong, meaning Little Girl in English, showcased advanced capabilities at the exhibition. Unlike traditional large language models in AI, Tong Tong possesses the ability to independently assign tasks to herself, as per a report by the South China Morning Post.

During interactions, she demonstrated problem-solving skills, such as fixing a crooked picture frame, reaching high places using a stool, and cleaning up spilt milk. Her ability to interpret human intentions and perform tasks autonomously sets her apart.

The AI entity is designed for autonomous learning and is said to have emotions such as joy, anger, and sorrow. Tong Tong is described as possessing a mind, striving to understand common sense taught by humans, discerning right from wrong, expressing attitudes in various situations, and having the power to shape the future.

In terms of general artificial intelligence standards, Tong Tong’s characteristics align with those of a three or four-year-old child. Through exploration and human interaction, she can continuously enhance her skills, knowledge, and values.

The aim is to create AI entities with physical and social common sense akin to humans, capable of comprehending the real world and defining new tasks autonomously.

BIGAI director Zhu Songchun, a renowned scholar in AI, highlighted the significance of advancing towards general artificial intelligence by creating entities with a wide range of skills and the ability to comprehend the real world.

The exhibition also featured the Tong Test, a comprehensive AI testing platform developed by Zhu’s team, assessing five dimensions: vision, language, cognition, motion, and learning.

The Tong Test incorporates a value system encompassing physiological, survival, emotional, and social values, providing a complete testing regime for the development of general artificial intelligence.

Zhu emphasized that the Tong Test’s focus on practical abilities and values aims to guide general AI in learning and improving capabilities more effectively and safely, ensuring it serves human society better. The development of Tong Tong and the Tong Test signifies a significant step forward in the pursuit of AI that can seamlessly integrate into human environments.

(With inputs from agencies)

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