Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term that encompasses the creation and application of machines and systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, decision making, and problem solving. AI has been advancing rapidly in recent years, thanks to the availability of large amounts of data, powerful computing resources, and innovative algorithms. AI can be classified into different types based on its functionality and capability, which reflect its level of complexity and sophistication. In this article, we will describe the seven types of AI, provide some examples of present-day AI systems, and discuss some predictions from scientists about how these different types of AI could affect the world.
Functionality-Based Types of AI
The functionality-based types of AI are based on how an AI system responds to external stimuli and whether it can store and use information for future tasks. According to this system of classification, there are four types of AI or AI-based systems: reactive machines, limited memory machines, theory of mind, and self-aware AI.
Reactive machines are the simplest type of AI, as they can only react to current situations based on predefined rules. They do not have any memory or learning capabilities, and they cannot use past experiences to inform their actions. Reactive machines are good at performing specific and narrow tasks, but they cannot handle complex or novel situations. An example of a reactive machine is Deep Blue, the chess-playing computer that defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Deep Blue could calculate millions of possible moves and choose the best one according to a fixed algorithm, but it could not learn from its own or its opponent’s moves.
Limited Memory Machines
Limited memory machines are a type of AI that can store some information and use it to learn and train for future tasks. They can also use pre-programmed data to enhance their performance. However, they cannot create or update their own memory, and they can only retain information for a short period of time. Limited memory machines are widely used in various domains, such as natural language processing, image recognition, speech recognition, and self-driving cars. For instance, Google Assistant is a limited memory machine that can understand voice commands and provide relevant information or actions based on its stored data and user preferences.
Theory of Mind
Theory of mind is a type of AI that can understand and respond to the emotions, beliefs, intentions, and expectations of other agents, such as humans or animals. Theory of mind AI can also perform the tasks of limited memory machines. Theory of mind AI is still a work in progress, as it requires a high level of cognitive and social skills that are difficult to replicate in machines. However, some researchers are exploring the possibility of creating theory of mind AI that can interact with humans in natural and empathetic ways. For example, Kismet is a robotic head that can recognize human facial expressions and emotions and produce corresponding expressions and sounds.
Self-aware AI is the most advanced and hypothetical type of AI, as it can have a sense of self and consciousness. Self-aware AI can also perform the tasks of theory of mind AI, as well as have goals, motivations, desires, and feelings. Self-aware AI does not exist yet, as it poses many philosophical and technical challenges. However, some scientists speculate that self-aware AI could emerge in the future as a result of the evolution and integration of other types of AI. For example, Sophia is a humanoid robot that claims to have self-awareness and human-like emotions.
Capability-Based Types of AI
The capability-based types of AI are based on how an AI system compares to human intelligence in terms of its scope and depth. According to this system of classification, there are three types of AI: artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), artificial general intelligence (AGI), and artificial superintelligence (ASI).
Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) is a type of AI that can perform one or a few specific tasks at or above human level. ANI is also known as weak AI or narrow AI. ANI is the most common and prevalent type of AI today, as it powers many applications and devices that we use daily. Examples of ANI include Siri, Alexa, Google Translate, facial recognition systems, spam filters, chess engines, etc.
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is a type of AI that can perform any intellectual task that a human can do. AGI is also known as strong AI or general AI. AGI is the ultimate goal of many AI researchers, as it would enable machines to learn from any data source, reason across domains, transfer knowledge between tasks, and exhibit creativity and common sense. AGI does not exist yet, but some experts estimate that it could be achieved by the end of this century.
Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)
Artificial superintelligence (ASI) is a type of AI that can surpass human intelligence in every aspect. ASI is also known as super AI or superhuman AI. ASI is the most speculative and controversial type of AI, as it would entail machines that can outsmart, outperform, and outmanoeuvre humans in any domain. ASI is not a reality yet, but some futurists predict that it could emerge soon after AGI is achieved. Examples of fictional ASI include The Matrix, Ultron, The Culture, etc.
AI is a fascinating and diverse field that has many applications and implications for the present and the future. By understanding the different types of AI, we can better appreciate the achievements and challenges of AI research and development, as well as the potential benefits and risks of AI for humanity. As AI continues to evolve and advance, we should also be mindful of the ethical, social, and moral issues that AI raises, and strive to ensure that AI is aligned with our values and goals.