If experts could pinpoint a single technology that has totally revolutionized the 21st-century, artificial intelligence (AI) would be the most probable candidate. AI has risen in popularity over the years and quickly become a part of everyday life; AI is everywhere from factory machinery to smart electronics and even vehicles.
But what is artificial intelligence anyway? To a layman with some exposure to science fiction, AI might be a cyborg that can think and act independently. However, to an artificial intelligence researcher, AI is a set of algorithms designed to execute specific actions with minimal to no human intervention. Computer science experts build AI to simulate human intelligence using a combination of machine learning, statistical techniques and deep learning.
What Are The Three Types Of Artificial Intelligence?
Since the purpose of AI is to mimic human intelligence, AI technologies differ by their ability to simulate human features, real-world applications and the technologies that drive them. All AI technologies fall into one of the following three categories using these criteria.
1. ANI (Artificial Narrow Intelligence)
More commonly known as narrow AI or weak AI, ANI is the only AI technology successfully created to date. Any AI-driven technologies available in the market currently fall under this category. Popular examples include Apple’s Siri, chatbots, Micro Focus’ AI digital assistant, drone robots and self-driving cars.
Unsurprisingly, ANI systems have limited capabilities and can only solve one or a few sets of problems – while they seem smart, they do not replicate human intelligence and only operate within a narrow context. However, what they lack in range they more than makeup for in execution; an ANI system can perform a single task with near-perfect success rates.
2. AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)
Also known as deep or strong AI, AGI is a theoretical concept of an AI system with human-level cognitive abilities, capable of thinking, learning and understanding concepts in a manner indistinguishable from a human. AGI systems can learn and solve problems independently across different domains, e.g. reasoning, language processing and computational functioning.
Considering the human brain’s complexity, it is no surprise that scientists are yet to create an AGI system. An AGI system will not only need to replicate human reasoning but also possess human consciousness. This is practically unfathomable with the current technology.
3. ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence)
ASI is a type of hypothetical AI capable of surpassing human cognitive abilities. Currently, super intelligence belongs in the dystopian science fiction world – think Skynet, the AI that orchestrated a machine revolution against humans in the Terminator franchise.
In theory, ASI systems would perform exceedingly better at anything a human can do. The consensus among AI researchers is that once humanity achieves AGI, machines would narrow the gap to ASI significantly by advancing their capabilities into unimaginable realms. Nevertheless, ASI might as well be a pipe dream considering how far humanity is from actualizing AGI.
The turn of the 21st-century has seen the world make massive leaps in AI despite the field being in its infancy: what was once borderline science fiction is now a reality. That said, if recent breakthroughs in deep learning are anything to go by, there is still a long journey ahead before humanity achieves truly autonomous artificial intelligence.
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