Customer Success | 6 MIN READ

Types of Artificial Intelligence (AI): A Beginner’s Guide

What are the types of Artificial Intelligence? Will they benefit the customers in any way or will they simply enslave them in the near future? Read on.

Simran Mohanty
May 18, 2021

Artificial-Intelligence-Types

Artificial Intelligence Types

Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly one of the biggest gifts to mankind. While we are exploring the beauty and benefits of the subject, it is still disregarding the fact that the field stays largely undiscovered. Simply put, it is still tough to comprehensively gain perspective on the potential impact of artificial intelligence in each of our lives. On that note, today we will learn about the types of artificial intelligence and how they help us in our everyday lives. But before that, let us brush up on some basics.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a technology that builds smart machines from vast volumes of data. It strives to perform human-like tasks with enhanced precision, speed and efficacy. The AI algorithms base on complex methods to derive intelligent decisions on their own. Machine Learning and Deep Learning form the core of AI. On that note, AI has been further classified under 7 types that are segregated on the basis of functionality and capabilities. Let us now delve into the seven types of AI here.

3 Types of AI -based on Capabilities

  • Narrow AI
  • General AI
  • Super AI

4 Types of AI-based on Functionalities

  • Reactive Machines
  • Limited Theory
  • Theory of Mind
  • Self-awareness
Types of Artificial Intelligence
Source: simplilearn

What is Narrow AI?

Narrow AI or also expressed as Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) refers to the AI systems that have been trained to perform only the specific tasks that they have been programmed for. They will not be able to perform anything more than what they are designed for and thus, have a narrow range of competencies. Apple Siri is an example of Narrow AI that helps the users/customers with its voice recognition capabilities and renders relevant answers to their queries. In fact, the most complex artificial intelligence systems that use machine learning and deep learning to teach themselves fall under this category of ANI.

What is General AI?

General AI or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is the ability of an AI agent to perceive and understand things just like an actual human does. These systems have been programmed to build multiple competencies independently and form connections across the other domains. In a way, this immensely aids in cutting down the time required for training purposes. Fortunately, this makes the AI systems just as capable as humans by replicating our multi-functional capabilities in every other way imaginable.

What is Super AI?

Super AI or Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) has been deemed to become the pinnacle of AI research. In addition to replicating the dynamic intelligence of humans, they will also be able to emulate tasks, that too with greater memory, faster data analysis and processing and revamped decision-making capabilities. The ASI does not only understand the human sentiments and customer experiences but also evokes emotions and series of its own. Often, people have doubted its credibility and tagged it hypothetical to some extent.

Look at this statistical data by Research Gate that showcases the expectations of these three types of AI in our near future. The ultimate hypothetical goal is achieving superintelligence (ASI) which is far surpassing that of the brightest and most gifted human minds. Due to recursive self-improvement, superintelligence is expected to be a rapid outcome of creating artificial general intelligence.

Types of AI in Future
Source: ResearchGate

What are Reactive Machines?

A reactive machine is the fundamental form of AI that does not keep up the previous memories or past customer data to determine future actions. It only works with the current data that it has right in front. These have been said to be the oldest form of AI systems that have a low level of capability and competency. They do not have the memory-based functionality and thus cease the ability to learn. Hence, reactive machines can only be used for automatically responding to a limited set or combination of inputs given.

What is Limited Memory?

Limited Memory machines have similar capabilities to the reactive ones, in addition to, learn from previous data and make decisions. Almost every application of AI that we use today in our everyday lives, fall under this category. For instance, an image recognition AI is trained by using hundreds of pictures and labels to teach it to name the products it scans. Thus, when an image is scanned by this AI, the customers can see various other similar products that match their requirements in a related fashion.

What is Theory of Mind?

While both reactive machines and limited memory machines have been seen and used in our lives in some way or the other, the theory of mind and self-awareness are not that abundantly found. They are still in a concept phase. Needless to say, the AI industry is already in the budding loop, achieving the ‘theory of mind’ level of AI will need massive development in the other branches of AI too to get functional in our everyday lives. This is mostly due to the fact that the AI machines will need to perceive humans as individuals whose minds need to be ‘read’ and ‘understood’.

What is Self-Awareness?

Self-Awareness is said to be the final phase of AI that is still in the hypothetical stage as of now. It is an AI that has evolved so much like the human mind that it has attained self-awareness. Creating and maintaining this type of AI is the pivotal objective of the researches behind this. Once the AI becomes self-aware, the system would be able to have ideas that can outmaneuver the intellect of any human and plot elaborate schemes to take over the entire human-kind. Scary, isn’t it?

Parting Thoughts

Some of these types of artificial intelligence that we learned today are yet in the pipeline to surface reality. While the ones who are already extant, it is imperative to see their beauty and benefits in each of our daily lives. It won’t only make our lives easier but also take some burden off our shoulders. Will the importance of AI help and aid in the betterment of customer success? Will the customers be heavily dependent on these systems or will they despise the over-involvement? That is left to be seen.

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Originally Published May 18th, 2021, Updated May 24th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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