Understanding the Different Types of AI: Narrow, General, and Super AI

In the past few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gone from being a futuristic concept to having real-world applications.

From robotic vacuum cleaners to voice synthesis and interactive assistants like Alexa and Google Home that use voice synthesis, AI is now all around us, and brings both good and bad to the world, depending on how we use it.

Though, even though artificial intelligence might sound like one single term, it’s a broad entity with multiple types, and the key to making use of it is knowing what those types are, and how they can benefit you.

That’s what we’re here for. With this blog post, we’ll unravel the various types of AI in the market right now, and explain how they’re being used to give you a better understanding of it all, and what you need to do to stay ahead of the AI world.

 So grab your reading glasses, and make sure to read till the end!

What Is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, also termed as, is something that is being thrown around a lot these days,  been thrown around a lot these days. But what exactly is it?

To make it simpler, you can view it in the following way. AI for technology is what your brain is to you. Get it?

By doing their best to mimic human intelligence, machines can learn and perceive their environment like never before. In fact, programs like Siri and things like Netflix Recommendations have AI in the backend. This is also the reason why you start getting ads when you seem to just think about a certain product. It’s all connected, and this kind of technology is what the future holds.

Essentially, AI is the future of computing, and it’s revolutionizing the way we live, work, and interact with the world around us.

Now that we’re done with laying the foundation of what AI is, let’s hop on to its types.

Type 1 AI – Based On Capabilities

The first major type of Artificial Intelligence is based on what it can do, and how far it can mimic human intelligence and decision-making. We term it Type-1 AI, and it has a total of three different sub-categories.

Narrow AI or Weak AI

To put it simply, this is the type of AI that can perform specific tasks at a limited capacity and is great for doing menial work while you do something more productive.

However, it’s important to note that this type of AI doesn’t possess general intelligence the way humans do. To give you a better idea, here’s an example. If human intelligence is the entire toolbox, then narrow or weak AI is just one specialized tool in that box.

For example, Siri or Alexa are examples of weak AI that can recognize your voice and complete certain tasks, like telling you the weather or setting reminders. In fact, all current applications of AI, whether they are AI voice generators or generative AI applications, fall under Narrow AI / Weak AI.

General AI

General AI, or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), is a rapidly evolving field that promises to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with technology.

 At its core, AI refers to computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, and perception.

In essence, General AI is the type of artificial intelligence that can perform tasks as well as humans, and possess decision-making abilities on the same level as human intelligence. It’s also important to know that there are no current applications of AI systems that can mimic human beings and our intelligence, and we’re still far from achieving that level.

Super AI

Super AI, also known as super artificial intelligence, is the next stage in the evolution of artificial intelligence. Super AI, as the name suggests, refers to AI that has surpassed the human brain and its decision-making skills, and is an entity that can learn and create with complete autonomy.

Super AI might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, and for the most part, it is like that. We still haven’t been able to conjure up an AI program that can mimic human intelligence, let alone have a machine surpass us.

However, in a survey taken in 2022, called Expert Survey In AI Progress, AI experts estimated there’s close to a 50% chance that we’ll have a high-functioning AI application by 2045.

On the other side of this story, however, there are also concerns about the potential dangers of super AI, leading to calls for regulation and ethical guidelines.

Type 2 AI – Based On Functionality

Now that we’re done with the first type of AI, it’s time to look on the other side – Type 2 AI. This type, instead of focusing on the capability of the AI machines, focuses on functionality. It’s divided into a total of 4 sub-types, which are explained in the following manner.

Reactive AI

This is the first type of AI in type-2 AI systems. Reactive AI is a type of AI that reacts to its environment in real-time, constantly making quick and accurate decisions based on the information it receives at any given moment.

Essentially, it’s all about taking action on the spot rather than relying on pre-programmed responses. It’s like having a personal assistant who knows exactly what you need before you even ask for it.

Reactive machines are the AI programs that are used for self-driving cars, and companies like Tesla have been quite big on technologies like these for a long time now.

Self Aware AI

Unlike reactive AI, Self Aware AI is a hypothetical concept and depicts those machines that have their consciousness and self-awareness, and have a sense of the space they are in.

This type of AI can understand its thoughts and motivations, and even predict its behavior based on that understanding.

Self-aware AI can also understand human emotions and interact with us in a more personal manner, which is something we see a lot of companies, especially in the AI voice business try to achieve. Though, as of now, various AI platforms spew out AI voices that sound like the real thing, we’re still far from perfection.

Theory Of Mind AI

Theory Of Mind AI is quite similar to Self Aware AI, except that it’s an AI that understands and perceives human emotions and can converse with humans on its own, without any human intervention.

Sophia, the first humanoid robot that was developed in Hong Kong, is a small application of Theory Of Mind AI, and even though we’re still far from achieving full-scale perfection, it’s interesting to see how diverse its applications can get.

Limited Memory AI

Limited Memory AI can be thought of as a type of artificial intelligence that is designed to make decisions based on limited amounts of data.

Unlike other types of AI, which often rely on vast amounts of historical data to make predictions, Limited Memory AI is built to operate with a smaller, more focused set of data points.

This can be particularly useful in situations where large amounts of data are not available or where the cost of processing such data could be prohibitively expensive, and its applications are often used in places like self-driving cars, high-functioning navigation systems, and more.