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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly advancing technology that has the potential to revolutionize almost every industry today. AI technology is proven to increase process efficiency, automate repetitive tasks and make accurate predictions about the future.
It is widely used in multiple sectors such as IT, healthcare, finance, education, manufacturing, transportation, and more.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that focuses on the creation of intelligent machines that can think and learn like humans. AI systems have the ability to process data, analyze patterns, identify objects, and make decisions on their own.
Now that you know what AI is, let’s now learn what are the different types of artificial intelligence.
What are the types of artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is divided into two major categories based on – capabilities and functionalities. To understand AI, it is crucial to distinguish between the different types and the current state of the technology.
There are 3 types of Artificial Intelligence based on capabilities:-
- Narrow AI
- General AI
- Super AI
There are 4 types of Artificial Intelligence based on functionalities:-
- Reactive Machines
- Limited Memory
- Theory of Mind
Artificial intelligence based on capabilities
What is Narrow AI?
Narrow AI or Weak AI is a type of Artificial Intelligence that focuses on one specific task or area. It is designed to perform a specific set of tasks and it has the ability to learn from data. It can be used to automate various day-to-day activities, help in decision-making, maximize efficiency, and cut down costs.
It is being widely used in industries like finance, healthcare, robotics, retail, etc. Narrow AI has the potential to transform businesses as it allows you to focus more on complex tasks while machines can take care of routine tasks.
Examples of Narrow AI:
- Virtual assistants like Siri by Apple, Alexa by Amazon,
- IBM’s Watson
- Self-driving cars
- Image or facial recognition software
- Disease mapping & prediction tools
What is General AI?
General AI or Strong AI is a type of AI where machines are designed to think, reason, and act like a human. It has the ability to learn, reason, and make decisions in a wide variety of contexts. The concept of General AI is not yet achieved by researchers and is in its nascent stages.
General AI can be used to perform multiple tasks such as NLP (natural language processing), image recognition, robotics, and many more. It can also help automate complex tasks that would otherwise require human intervention. General AI has the potential to change how we interact with technology in the future.
What is a Super AI?
Super AI or Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) would be capable of outperforming humans. ASI machines are self-aware and surpass human intelligence. They can perform any task better than humans. The concept of Super AI is still hypothetical.
Artificial superintelligence is considered the most advanced and powerful type of AI with characteristics like problem-solving, thinking, decision-making, etc. ASI can also interpret human emotions and experiences.
Artificial intelligence based on functionalities
There are four types of Artificial Intelligence based on functionalities. Let’s learn more about these.
1. Reactive machines
Reactive machines are the oldest and the most basic forms of AI systems that are purely reactive. They have limited capability and do not have functionality based on memory. I.e., Reactive machines do not possess the ability to learn from previous experiences and respond to actions.
These types of machines emulate the human mind’s ability to respond to different kinds of inputs. Reactive machines could only be used for automatically responding to a limited set or combination of inputs.
For example, IBM’s Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer that beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, was a reactive machine. This computer played chess based on real-time intuitions.
2. Limited memory
Limited memory machines possess the capabilities of reactive machines and are also capable of learning from past experiences and using that data to make decisions.
Almost all present-day AI systems such as chatbots, self-driving cars, virtual assistants, etc fall under this category of AI.
Limited theory machines store large volumes of data to form a reference for solving future problems. For example, an image recognition system will be loaded with multiple training images and labels to teach the name of the object it is scanning. So when it scans an image next time, it uses these past images as a reference for recognizing the new one.
3. Theory of mind
Theory of mind AI is the next advanced level in AI systems that scientists are trying to develop. It exists only as a hypothetical concept now.
Theory of mind AI machines plays a crucial role in psychology as they will focus on emotional intelligence. This type of AI needs a clear understanding of human feelings and behavior within an environment.
Two examples of the theory of mind machines are the robots Kismet and Sophia. Kismet, a robot developed in the 1990s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Professor Cynthia Breazeal, was capable of recognizing human facial emotions and could replicate those emotions with its facial features, eyes, lips, ears, eyebrows, and eyelids.
Sophia is a humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics in 2016 and is known for its prominent human-like appearance, facial expressions, and behavior as compared to previous variants.
Self-awareness is the final and most advanced stage AI, which is currently a hypothetical concept. This will be possible when machines develop self-awareness and have a consciousness like humans. Self-aware AI machines will have the same needs, emotions, and desires as humans.
Developing Self-aware AI machines might take several decades or even centuries. Self-awareness can be considered as an extension of the theory of mind concept. The difference will be that self-aware machines will have thoughts and reactions of their own.
Artificial intelligence is a highly fascinating and fast-evolving field of science. Although researchers are continuing their efforts to achieve General AI and Super AI, they still have a long way to go.
Narrow AI is the only type of Artificial Intelligence that humans have developed until now, and this field has seen great progress in the last few years. It is no secret that the future of AI holds great potential.
Earn an Executive MBA in Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain from Eaton Business School.