July 12, 2023

7 Different Types of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving rapidly and transforming our world. Explore the seven main types of AI in our detailed guide, including reactive machines, limited memory AI, theory of mind AI, and more. Understand their functionality, potential use cases, and the impacts they could have on our future.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most discussed topics today. With the release of ChatGPT and Bard, we're seeing a resurgence in interest for AI.
However, many industries have been implementing AI behind the scenes for years. We now have autonomous vehicles that have already been tested and proven to work in real-world scenarios. Plans underway will see these vehicles approved for more city streets and released commercially to modernize transportation.
We now have AI-powered medical systems devised with the patient’s safety and well-being in mind that can accurately diagnose diseases and create customized treatment plans. Those in the business world are reaping massive benefits from using AI-powered machines and systems to automate tasks, improve decision-making and boost customer service delivery. Chatbots answer client questions around the clock while offering customized recommendations.
The finance industry requires Al-powered bots to effectively detect fraud, provide investment advice, and manage risks. Businesses in the retail category use Al to optimize product personalization and recommendations, boost customer service, and optimize inventory. In the energy industry, artificial intelligence has been massively exploited to aid in the development of new energy sources, the optimization of power grids, and the reduction of toxic emissions.
Manufacturers need artificial intelligence in segments requiring prediction of equipment failure, automation of tasks, and improvement of quality control. Farmers and other agricultural specialists utilize this technology to effectively predict infestations, boost crop yields, and automate processes and tasks.

Exploring the Various Classifications of AI

Al systems are basically classified according to their functionalities and capabilities. The capability of an Al system describes its task-performing capability. In other words, it talks about the accuracy, efficiency, and speed at which an Al system learns, reasons, and makes decisions. In terms of capability, we have three categories of Al systems, which are:
  • Artificial general intelligence: this is a hypothetical Al capable of executing every intellectual task a human performs. At this stage, AGI is only achievable through science fiction, but a lot is being done to make it a reality.
  • Artificial narrow intelligence: ANI is the most popular Al system, featuring features and functions that support the completion of tasks such as detecting fraud, playing chess, and more.
  • Artificial superintelligence: Another hypothetical AI system engineered to be as intelligent as humans. Some sophisticated systems are actually more intelligent than humans and can solve problems that humans cannot.
Al systems are well categorized based on their functionality. We have dozens of documented functionalities of artificial intelligence, with the most common ones being:
  • Computer vision: Some Al systems can comprehend and process visual data. This functionality is widely applicable in medical image analysis, self-driving cars, and facial recognition.
  • Machine learning: this functionality is essential for systems that learn from, analyze, and improve the performance of data entered. Good examples of these tools are the well-received Chatbots, including ChatGPT, Bard, and more. These Chatbots enable the fast execution of tasks that take more time and energy to program manually.
  • Natural language processing: this functionality enables an Al system to understand and process human language. It’s the functionality added to machine translation bots, Chatbots, and text analysis bots to support their functions.

The 7 Main Artificial Intelligence Types To Know

Read on to diversify your knowledge of the 7 types of artificial intelligence tools and their application in modern-day life.
Reactive Machines
These are categorized as functional artificial intelligence systems, engineered with the limited capability of only responding to their environment in real-time. They cannot learn from or store previous experiences but can only respond to them. The most basic examples of reactive machines are game bots, thermostats, and self-driving cars. Although reactive machines are simple and respond quickly to their surroundings, they are not versatile enough, and their applications are limited. These machines only work with present data and won’t remember or record anything beyond that.
Limited Memory Machines
Limited memory machines are engineered with the capability to train from past data to effectively make decisions. But these machines have short-lived memories, meaning they can only use and train on the data for a specified period of time. Sadly, the machines cannot add memory and data to their experience library. This kind of technology enables them to adapt to the behavioral patterns of their past experiences and decisions over time. Categorized under functionality Al systems, the main examples of limited memory machines are fraud detection systems, virtual assistants, and spam filters.
Theory of Mind
Categorized under functionality Al systems, theory of mind Al is an advanced category of technology that is only available as a concept. This Al technology has the superior cognitive capability to cognize and envisage the unique feelings and thoughts of others. Systems designed using the theory of mind model rely on the understanding that things and people within a specific environment are bound to have changed behaviors and feelings. Systems designed using this model have smart engineering that enables them to realize that people have thoughts, emotions, and sentiments.
Despite the efforts and technologies intended to bring the theory of mind Al technology to reality, it’s still not yet fully understood and actualized. The most basic example of the theory of mind Al technology is kismet. For further clarification, Kismet is a robotic head developed in the late 1990s by a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The robot can copy and distinguish human emotions.
Self-Aware Al
Self-aware is another functional type of Al that has the same intelligence and cognitive abilities as humans. This Al is aware of its existence and can think and reason the same way you do. Essentially, self-aware Al systems cognize their internal traits, perceive human emotions, and understand their conditions and states. They are currently only in the science fiction development stage but are expected to be more intelligent than humans. This Al technology, once actualized, will have the capability to recognize and evoke emotions in people and things it interacts with.
Narrow AI
Commonly called Weak Al, narrow Al is a capability Al system engineered to perform a single narrow task and can’t do more than that. It focuses on a single subset of intelligence capabilities and advances in line with that spectrum. We have many applications running on the narrow Al model, thanks to the advancement of deep learning and machine learning technologies. The main examples of narrow Al systems are Apple Siri, image recognition software, the IBM Watson supercomputer, Google’s page-ranking algorithm, Google Translate, and spam filtering technologies.
Super Al
This is another widely used human artificial intelligence system categorized under the capabilities category. Super Al bots and systems are infused with the intelligence to perform virtually any task more efficiently than humans. It not only recognizes and understands human experiences and sentiments; it also evokes beliefs, emotions, desires, and needs. However, Super Al has not been developed beyond the science fiction stage. In other words, Super Al is still hypothetical and has key characteristics such as independent decision-making, solving puzzles, making judgments, and thinking. Some examples of super Al are virtual assistants, medical diagnosis tools, and robotics.
General AI
Popularly called strong Al, General Al has been engineered to recognize and learn most intellectual tasks. Machines running on this capability can quickly apply learned knowledge and skills in varied contexts. Although researchers are yet to achieve strong Al, Microsoft has donated over $1 billion to finance the development of OpenAl. Key examples of General Al include the Fujitsu K computer, known as the fastest supercomputer globally.

Strengthen Your Understanding of AI

Researchers and inventors are truly doing a great job of developing machines capable of solving most of our problems. We even have self-aware Al systems that can self-train and learn independently and have the capacity to make decisions on their own. This article gave a complete outline of the seven main Al solutions and their applicability in our everyday life. In recent years, we have seen the invention of more accurate and responsive Chatbots that can respond to commands and generate text and visual content in seconds.
For those who want to better understand machine learning and artificial intelligence, enroll in Maven's top-notch AI-related course. Use the co-working with Al course to familiarize yourself with the tools, tips, optimizations, and tools on how to incorporate Al into your work. Consider this maven’s Al course to effectively learn and adapt Al-powered creativity and productivity strategies and tools. The AI Demystified course will help you learn the language of Al.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whose brainchild is Al?
Al is the brainchild of John McCarthy. John is a renowned computer scientist and officially devised the term Al in 1955. He also developed the first-ever Al programming language, known as Lisp.
What is the strongest type of AI?
The strongest Al known to man today is artificial superintelligence. This hypothetical Al has proven to have more intelligence than the brainiest of humans. The Al will be able to learn and understand information at unmatched rates to effectively solve problems beyond human understanding.
How intelligent is Artificial intelligence?
Al lacks human qualities such as the ability to learn, common sense, and creativity. However, they can execute complex tasks that only humans could complete a few years ago.
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