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Understanding the 7 Types of Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, has been experiencing a drastic growth in the past few years and was getting a lot of attention from all kinds of professionals all over the world – futurists, academics, economists, and policymakers. Since 2011 we’ve witnessed a drastic growth in data-driven AI development, thanks to greater computer power that brought new breakthroughs. 

It is safe to say that the future is here! And it’s important to understand AI because chances are, you’ll want to implement AI into any app that you want to develop. 

AI development and growth has already made an impact on numerous industries globally and truth to be told, the application of AI can be only limited by imagination. From healthcare to the military, every industry finds the application for new technology that basically allows you to access the imagination of its developer, travel to distant places without leaving a room, learn through engaging activities, and see the reality through the eyes of the others. 

The countries leading the AI race are China, Germany, Norway, Sweden, The United Kingdom, The United States primarily in industries like transportation, telecommunication, life, and medical sciences. IT research firm Gartner predicts the global enterprise value derived from AI in 2018 will total $1.17 trillion, up 70% year over year. By 2021, the firm estimates the value-add will total $3.3 trillion.

We are already using AI, sometimes without even realizing it. It has been implemented in applications that people use every day, in transport, health, finance, law, and other areas. The most obvious examples are Siri and Alexa, the virtual voice assistants developed by Apple and Amazon respectively. 

AI is probably one of the most creative and complex inventions of humanity and to understand it we need to know how it is classified.  

There are two systems of classifications based on AI’s abilities to perform different tasks. The main idea is to get its functionality close to operations of the human mind, teach it how to “think” and “feel” like humans. Both systems divide the AI types by the ability to perform human-like operations. 

The first system, that is used more generally in tech, divides AI into 3 categories:  Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and Artificial Superintelligence (ASI).

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

This type of AI can only perform the actions that it was programmed to, which makes its abilities limited by human decision. All existing AI fall into this category, even if they are complex and use deep learning and machine learning to teach itself. The capabilities of such programs lie within the scope designed by humans and they can only mimic human actions that can be interpreted in some kind of algorithm. 

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

This is the next level of AI that is being developed and will be more human-like in the sense that it will be able to form connections and generalizations across domains, perform more complex tasks and will have multi-functional capabilities, just like humans. If ANI is only able to copy the human actions, AGI will be able to “think” and “reason”.

Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)

We can expect ASI to be the triumph of AI development – a machine that will be able to “feel” just like humans and excel us in logical functions because of greater memory capabilities, faster data processing and analysis, and decision-making processes.

The development of ASI raises a lot of ethical questions and concerns together with the question of the future coexistence of intelligent machines and humans and even though the development of ASI is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, their questions and concerns need to be addressed now. 

The other system divides AI into 4 types also based on the ability to perform human-like operations and the similarity with human behavior. The types are reactive machines, limited memory machines, theory of mind, and self-aware AI.

Reactive machines

This type of AI is characterized by not having memory-based functionality, which means they can’t learn from the previous experiences and have limited performing capabilities programmed by the human. They just perceive the world and react to various preprogrammed stimulants. It can perform the optimized action based on the criteria it is given in the present, but it can’t store this information to improve that optimization in the future, which makes its abilities very limited. 

Limited memory machines

These are the systems that use machine learning and deep learning to improve their own performance. They are able to store previous experiences for future reference. This type of AI is represented by virtual voice assistants, chatbots, improving hotel booking algorithms, self-driving cars, and many others. 

Limited memory machines are best explained by self-driving cars that only have preprogrammed representation of the world and is adapting its actions to the current situation on the road based on it’s learning. Even though this type of machines is more developed than reactive ones, both fall into the ANI category.

Theory of mind

These are the machines of the future that have not been developed yet. As the name suggests, they will be able to perform human-like actions based on their needs, emotions, beliefs, and thought processes. This will allow machines to understand humans and their motives and intentions bringing the mutual collaboration to the next level. 

Self-aware AI

Just as mentioned in the ASI section, self-aware AI will be the final level of AI development. This type of machine will not only be able to understand human feelings and emotions but have feelings and emotions of its own, gaining consciousness and potential ideas and desires of its own. There is a little chance that our generations will live to see self-aware AI walking among us, but humanity is already concerned about the future that it might bring to us and how it will change people’s lives forever. 

With AI entering our lives with the purpose to stay there it is fascinating to see how this technology is developing and evolving, helping numerous industries to improve and offer more to people. It might be hard to imagine how life will be when superintelligent machines will be finally developed but until then it is our responsibility to prepare for the transition to make it ethical and safe for humanity. 

Technology is an inseparable part of our daily lives and there is no way the scientists will stop their research of the next generations of AI. We live to witness the future becoming reality and are looking forward to seeing the new technological developments. 

What are your thoughts when it comes to AI and app development? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter @Koombea

Author Bio: Daniel Alcanja is CTO at Trio, Software Engineering House. With more than 17 years of experience in Mobile and Web development, he loves building impactful applications and make transformative ideas come to life

 



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