Types of Artificial Intelligence

The main aim of Artificial Intelligence aim is to enable machines to perform a human-like function. Thus the primary way of classification of AI is based on how well it is able to replicate human-like actions. AI can, by and large, be classified based on two types, both of which are based on its ability to replicate the human brain. One type of classification which is “Based on Functionality” classify AI on the basis of their likeness to the human mind and their ability to think and feel like humans. The second way of classification is more prominent in the tech industry which is” Based on Capabilities” of AI vis-à-vis Human Intelligence.

Different Types of Artificial Intelligence

Type 1 – Based on Functionality

1. Reactive Machine

They are the most basic and oldest type of Artificial Intelligence. They replicate a human’s ability to react to different kinds of stimuli. This type of AI has no memory power so they lack the capability to use previously gained information/experience to obtain better results Therefore these kinds of AI don’t have the ability to train themselves like the ones we come across nowadays.

Example: Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing supercomputer, is the perfect example of these kinds of machines. It is famous for defeating international grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s. Deep Blue can identify different pieces in the chessboard and how each moves. It can identify all the possible legal moves for itself and its opponents. Based on the option, it selects the best possible move. However, it doesn’t have the ability to learn from its past moves as these machines don’t have any memory of their own.

2. Limited Theory

These type of AI, along with the ability of Reactive Machines, have memory capabilities so they can use past information/experience to make better future decisions. Most of the common applications existing around us fall under this category. These AI applications can be trained by a large volume of training data which they store in their memory in the form of a reference model.

Example: Limited Memory technology is used in many self-driving cars use. They store data like GPS location, speed of nearby cars, size /nature of obstructions among a hundred other kinds of data to drive just like a human does.

3. Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind is the next level of AI, which has very limited to no presence in our day to day lives. These kind of AI are mostly in the “Work in Progress” stage and are usually confined to research labs. These kinds of AI once developed will have a very deep understating of human minds ranging from their needs, likes, emotions, thought process, etc. Basis their understanding of Human minds and their whims the AI will be able to alter its own response. 

Example: Researcher Winston in his research showed a prototype of a robot which can walk down the small corridor with other robots coming from the opposite direction, the AI can foresee other robots movements and can turn right, left or any other way so as to avoid a possible collision with the incoming robots. As per Wilson, this Robot determines its action based on its “common sense” of how other robots will move.

4. Self-Aware AI

This is the final stage of AI. Its current existence is only hypothetical and can be found only in Science fiction movies. These kinds of AI can not only understand and evoke human emotions but can also have emotions of its own. These kind of AI are decades if not centuries away from materializing. It is this kind of AI which AI skeptics like Elon Musk are wary of. This is because once it is self-aware, the AI can get into Self-Preservation mode it might consider humanity as a potential threat and may directly or indirectly pursue endeavor to end humanity.

Type 2 – Based on Capabilities

1. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

All the existing AI applications which we see around us falls under this category. ANI includes an AI system that can perform narrowly defined specific tasks just like humans. However these machines cannot perform tasks for which it was not programmed before-hand, so they fail at performing unprecedented task. Based on the classification mentioned above, this system is the combination of all reactive and limited memory AI. AI algorithms which we use in today’s world for performing most complex Prediction Modelling falls under this category of AI.

2. Artificial General Intelligence (ANI)

AGI has the capability to train, learn, understand and perform functions just like a normal human does. These systems will have multi-functional capabilities cutting across different domains. These systems will be more agile and will react and improvise just like humans while facing unprecedented scenarios. There is no real-world example of this kind of AI but good amount of progress has been made in this field.

3. Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

Artificial Super Intelligence will be the top-most point of AI development. ASI will be the most potent form of intelligence to ever exist on this planet. It will be able to perform all the tasks better than humans because of their inordinately superior data processing, memory, and decision-making ability. Some of the researchers fear that the advent of ASI will ultimately result in “Technological Singularity”. It is a hypothetical situation in which the growth in technology will reach an uncontrollable stage which will result in an unimaginable change in Human Civilization.

At present, it is very hard to foresee how our future will look like when a more dexterous form of AI materializes. However, one can say this with great certainty that we are still a long distance apart to reach that stage as we are just in the very nascent stage on the development of advanced AI. For the proponents of AI, we can say that we are just scratching the surface to unearth the true potential of AI and for the AI skeptics it is too soon to get chills about Technological Singularity.

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