What Are the Types of Artificial Intelligence: Narrow, General, and Super AI Explained | Spiceworks (2023)

Artificial Intelligence is defined as the capability to which a machine can exhibit intelligent characteristics. To determine the type and scope of their intelligence, they have been classified into three types.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has certainly started to affect our lives in significant ways, making it essential to stay ahead of the curve. The types of artificial intelligence are a way to visualize what the future of AI would be, as AI begins to take on the more human aspects of cognition. Learning about the types of AI is integral to understand how they would progress in the future. Read on to learn about the endgame of artificial intelligence.

Table of Contents

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Types of Artificial Intelligence

Narrow Artificial Intelligence

General Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Super Intelligence

Theory of Mind in Artificial Intelligence

Key Takeaways for Techies

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to any cognitive process exhibited by a non-human entity. Today’s AI includes computer programs that perform tasks similar to human cognition, including learning, vision, logical reasoning, and more.

Owing to its several benefits, AI is prevalent in the enterprise and consumer space today. Modern algorithms can provide labor that is as accurate as a human employee, except many times faster.

AI has long been researched as a way to bring automation to the same level of cognitive functioning as humans. Now, smart automation is but one of the many applications of AI algorithms and software.

Artificial intelligence has many subcategories, such as neural networks and deep learning, machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing. These are used mainly in smartphones and Internet applications, as they offer a quick and easy way to optimize the user experience.

(Video) AI2V 101 - Narrow, General and Super AI

When asked about the benefits of artificial intelligence, Oliver Tearle, Head of Research, The ai Corporation, says, “AI and machine learning exist for two purposes: solving problems that require a lot of repeated, often complex manual effort, and to solve problems humans can’t solve. It is impossible for a human to continually understand and extract insight from very large data sources that grow over time. A machine can do this very efficiently and never gets tired. It continually works on the problem with sustained effectiveness.

Applying AI and machine learning throughout a business not only saves time and effort by replacing manual processes with machines, but it allows those teams to innovate and pursue revenue generation activities.

What’s more, the machine can use the insight from the data it has seen to predict future behavior. AI and ML can be implemented as an insight generation tool, allowing a business to remain on top of the critical behavior of its customers. Enabling a business to take swift action to make the most of events identified by the technology.”

Types of Artificial Intelligence

What Are the Types of Artificial Intelligence: Narrow, General, and Super AI Explained | Spiceworks (1)In order to differentiate between the degree to which AI applications can conduct tasks, they are generally split into three types. These types are distinct from each other and show the natural progression to AI systems today.

Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence is not here to replace humanity, as it is nothing but a technology that is used by humans. In its current state, it is merely a program that can be trained to perform tasks. As it advances in the future, it is important to create a legal, ethical, and moral framework to govern AI.

See More: What Is Artificial Intelligence: History, Types, Applications, Benefits, Challenges, and Future of AI
The consequences of AI’s advancement must be considered when taking a look at the types of artificial intelligence that have been proposed to exist in the future. As the scale progresses from generally lower to higher intelligence, more human-like characteristics, such as emotions and thought processes, might present themselves. This makes the regulation of AI and its related technologies a difficult undertaking for a developed society.

It’s crucial to have a forward-thinking mentality as the future of artificial intelligence has been mapped out, primarily by the types of AI that are described today. Let’s dive deeper into what these types are.

Narrow Artificial Intelligence

Narrow AI is the most prevalent kind of AI today. From applications in mobile phones to the Internet to big data analytics, narrow AI is taking the world by storm.

The name stems from the fact that this kind of artificial intelligence systems are explicitly created for a single task. Owing to this narrow approach and inability to perform tasks other than the ones that are specified to them, they are also called as ‘weak’ AI. This makes their intelligence highly-focused on one task or set of tasks, allowing for further optimization and tweaking.

Why Is It Called Narrow Intelligence?

Narrow AI is designed for specific tasks and cannot perform tasks other than the ones specified to it. This narrow focus is mainly due to the following factors:

Narrow AI is a Complex Computer Program

Narrow AI is usually restricted in its scope because it is created to solve a problem. It is built with the explicit focus of ensuring that a task is completed, with its architecture and functioning representing this.

Today’s narrow AI is not made up of non-quantifiable parts; it is just a computer program running as per the instructions given to it. Due to these constraints and specified use-case, narrow AI has a laser focus on the tasks it was created for.

Narrow AI is Created as per Today’s Standards and Tools

With the increase in adoption of AI by enterprises, the technology is expected to do one thing and do it well. While the use-case might differ from company to company, the expectations are the same – an exponential increase to the bottom line. Today, this can be done only with narrow AI.

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Narrow AI is developed in an environment where the problem is front-and-center, using the latest technology. Artificial intelligence, in general, is a highly research-oriented field, and the research groundwork to create something more than a single use-case system has not been laid out yet. This creates AI with a narrow focus.

Owing to its high efficiency, speed, and consumption rate over humans, narrow artificial intelligence is one of the go-to solutions for corporates. For a wide variety of low-level tasks, narrow AI can employ smart automation and integration to provide efficiency while maintaining accuracy.

This makes it a favored choice for tasks that involve million-scale datasets, known as big data. With personal data collection being prevalent, companies have a large amount of big data at their disposal that can be used for training AI and deriving insights from it.

Examples of Narrow AI

Today, narrow AI is also used in various Internet applications that we use on a daily basis. Following are a few examples of narrow AI:

Recommendation Systems

Whenever you see a ‘recommended’ tag on a website, it is usually put there by a narrow AI. By looking at a user’s preferences with respect to the database of content or information, an AI is able to determine their likes and dislikes.

This is then used to offer recommendations, thus providing a more personalized experience to the user. This is commonly seen on sites, such as Netflix (“Because you watched…”), YouTube (“Recommended”), Twitter (“Top Tweets first”), and many more services.

Spam Filtering

Narrow AI with natural language processing capabilities is employed to keep our inboxes clean. Employees cannot check every spam email they receive, but it’s a perfect task for narrow AI.

Google is the leader in providing email services and has evolved its narrow AI to a point where it conducts various email-related tasks. Along with AI-powered spam filters, they can also assign a category to a particular type of email (promotions, reminders, important, and so on).

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Expert Systems

Narrow AI has the capability to create expert systems, which could pave the way for the future of AI. Just as human intelligence is comprised of various senses and logical, creative, and cognitive tasks; expert systems also consist of many parts.

Expert systems may represent the future of artificial intelligence. This term is used to denote an AI system made up of many smaller narrow AI algorithms. For example, IBM Watson, which is made of a natural language processing component along with a cognitive aspect.

General Artificial Intelligence

While narrow AI refers to where artificial intelligence has reached today, general AI refers to where it will be in the future. Also known as artificial general intelligence (AGI) and strong AI, general artificial intelligence is a type of AI that can think and function just as humans do.

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This includes perceptual tasks, such as vision and language processing, along with cognitive tasks, such as processing, contextual understanding, thinking, and a more generalized approach to thinking as a whole.

While narrow AI is created as a means to execute a specific task, general AI can be broad and adaptable. The learning part of an adaptive general intelligence also has to be unsupervised, as opposed to the supervised and labeled learning that narrow AI is put through today.

General AI is still a far off reality, as the tools required to build it are not available today. Many argue that neural networks are a dependable way to create the forerunners of what can be called general artificial intelligence, but the reality of the situation is that human intelligence is still a black box.

While we as humans are beginning to decode the inner workings of our minds and brains, we are still a long way from figuring out what ‘intelligence’ means. In addition to this obstacle, the need to define ‘consciousness’ is integral to creating a general AI. This is due to the fact that an AGI needs to be ‘conscious’ and not just an algorithm or machine.

Challenges of General Artificial Intelligence

There are various pitfalls associated with general artificial intelligence. Some of them include:

Replicating Transfer Learning

Transfer learning is a term used to denote applying the knowledge learned in one domain to another. This is something that humans engage in every day and is an important part of society. For example, the knowledge of how to ride a bicycle is applied in riding a motorcycle.

This is something that neural networks have become better at doing recently; a positive sign for the future. A capable AGI needs to have strong transfer learning capabilities to avoid retraining.

Enabling Common Sense and Collaboration

Common sense is integral to human functioning, along with collaboration on tasks with other human minds. Due to the narrow nature of today’s algorithms, dependable collaboration has not been achieved, with common sense being a far-off reality.

To create a true general artificial intelligence, it needs to be imbued with such characteristics to ensure that it is not just another narrow AI. This will set it apart from the systems that came before it, as it will not only collaborate with other machines but also with humans.

Figuring Out Consciousness and Mind

Consciousness is an integral part of being human and being conscious is the most resilient method of determining the existence of intelligence. In addition to this, the human mind is still something that has not been decoded. These remain as significant obstacles to the creation and achievement of general artificial intelligence.

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Artificial Super Intelligence

Artificial super intelligence (ASI) is a term used to denote an AI that exceeds human cognition by a great extent in every possible way. This is one of the most far-off theories of artificial intelligence but is generally considered to be the eventual endgame of creating an AI.

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While artificial super intelligence is still a theory at this point in time, a lot of scenarios involving it have already been envisioned. A common consensus among those in the field is that ASI will come from the exponential growth of AI algorithms, also known as ‘Intelligence Explosion’.

Intelligence explosion is a concept required for the creation of artificial super intelligence. As the name suggests, it is an explosion of intelligence from human-level, general artificial intelligence to an unthinkable level. This occurs through recursive self-improvement.

Self-improvement in AI comes in the form of learning from user input in neural networks. Recursive self-improvement, on the other hand, is the capacity of an AI system to learn from itself, at rapidly increasing levels of increasing intelligence.

To illustrate this, take the example of an AGI functioning at the level of average human intelligence. It will learn from itself, using the cognitive capabilities of an average human, to reach genius-level intelligence. However, this begins compounding, and any future learning made by the AI will be conducted at a genius-level cognitive functioning.

This accelerates at a fast pace, creating an intelligence that is smarter than itself at every step. This continues to build up quickly, until the point where intelligence explodes, and a super intelligence is born. Containing or creating a super intelligence is something that we as a human race are far from, making it an entry for sci-fi novels. For now.

Theory of Mind in Artificial Intelligence

In psychology, the theory of mind is the ability to connect what one is feeling to the reality that they are feeling it. In other words, it is the ability of humans to attribute their mental state to themselves while recognizing that they are different from others.

It is an important part of social cognition and is integral for a human being to function in society. Replicating the theory of mind and a construct such as the ‘mind’ may be what we are missing to create a true general artificial intelligence.

In a way, the theory of mind is a way for individuals to create a simulation of the consequences of their actions. This can be replicated in AI by creating an internal simulation which contains a model of the AI itself, along with a model of the world.

This brings a perspective of ‘common sense’ to the model and can represent solving one of the primary challenges of creating a general AI. Experts believe that this is one of the biggest steps that will bridge the gap between the neural networks of today to create a stronger, more adaptive AI.

Key Takeaways for Techies

Artificial intelligence can be leveraged by techies to stay ahead of the curve in the IT space today. As this technology is transforming at a rapid pace, those in the market are especially required to stay ahead of the curve.

It is also important to understand concepts, such as AGI and ASI, as they may eventually turn into reality. Moreover, it is also important to note that we are at the beginning of using AI, and the algorithms used today are restricted to narrow tasks.

It is safe to say that AGI and ASI will disrupt the world in a way we cannot envision. The narratives portrayed in movies involving AI, especially those such as ‘Her’ and ‘I, Robot’, may, in fact, come true with the rise of general AI.

One of the more important topics for the techies to consider is the ethics of AGI and ASI. While it might be redundant in the latter case, the dependable regulation and ethical treatment of general AI is important for many reasons.

Society as a whole needs to catch up with the idea of computers being able to think and put laws in place to ensure the ethical treatment of such machines. Owing to the disruptive nature of general AI, the consequences must be foreseen to avoid several issues in the future.

What do you think the future of AI will be like? Let us know on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you.

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What is narrow AI General AI and super AI? ›

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI): AI with a narrow range of abilities. Artificial general intelligence (AGI): AI on par with human capabilities. Artificial superintelligence (ASI): AI that surpasses human intelligence.

What are the types of artificial intelligence? ›

AI type-1: Based on Capabilities

Narrow AI is a type of AI which is able to perform a dedicated task with intelligence. The most common and currently available AI is Narrow AI in the world of Artificial Intelligence. Narrow AI cannot perform beyond its field or limitations, as it is only trained for one specific task.

What are the 5 types of artificial intelligence? ›

You can opt for any of 5 AI types – analytic, interactive, text, visual, and functional – or wisely combine several ones.

What is a super AI? ›

What Is Super AI? Artificial superintelligence (ASI) is a form of AI that is capable of surpassing human intelligence by manifesting cognitive skills and developing thinking skills of its own.

What is narrow AI? ›

Narrow AI, also known as weak AI, is an application of artificial intelligence technologies to enable a high-functioning system that replicates -- and perhaps surpasses -- human intelligence for a dedicated purpose.

What is AI explain with example? ›

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the branch of computer sciences that emphasizes the development of intelligence machines, thinking and working like humans. For example, speech recognition, problem-solving, learning and planning.

What are the types of AI class 8? ›

How Many Types of Artificial Intelligence-AI are there?
  • Narrow or Weak AI – is dedicated for just one task.
  • General AI – this performs like human.
  • Super AI – intelligent than humans.

What is artificial intelligence and its uses? ›

AI is the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. AI enables technical systems to perceive their environment, deal with what they perceive, solve problems and act to achieve a specific goal.

What is the difference between weak general and super AI? ›

If it's good at specific actions only, it's narrow or weak AI. If it operates at the same level as a human in any situation, it's strong AI. And, if it's operating far above the capacity any human could hope for, it's artificial superintelligence.

What is intelligent AI? ›

Intelligent systems are technologically advanced machines that perceive and respond to the world around them. Intelligent systems can take many forms, from automated vacuums such as the Roomba to facial recognition programs to Amazon's personalized shopping suggestions.

What is AI introduction? ›

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to replicate or enhance human intellect, such as reasoning and learning from experience. Artificial intelligence has been used in computer programs for years, but it is now applied to many other products and services.

Who is father of AI? ›

Abstract: If John McCarthy, the father of AI, were to coin a new phrase for "artificial intelligence" today, he would probably use "computational intelligence." McCarthy is not just the father of AI, he is also the inventor of the Lisp (list processing) language.

How many AI are there? ›

As of 2022, we recognize seven different types of artificial intelligence. These are the three types based on capabilities – Narrow AI, General AI, and Super AI. Based on functionalities AIs are Reactive Machines, Limited Theory, Theory of Mind, and Self-awareness.

How do you make a super AI? ›

A final way to create a superintelligence is to link together existing intelligences. Two brains are better than one, and so on. An obvious way to achieve this is through brain implants such as the Neuralink mentioned earlier. A less invasive method involves the wisdom of the crowd.

How can I be super intelligence? ›

10 Evidence-Backed Ways to Become Smarter
  1. Get moving.
  2. Sleep well.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Drink coffee.
  5. Drink green tea.
  6. Get the right nutrients.
  7. Play an instrument.
  8. Read.
18 Mar 2020

Is there a general AI? ›

The other use of the term AI is to describe something we call general AI, or often AGI. It doesn't exist yet except in science fiction, and no one knows how to make it. A general AI is a computer program that is as intellectually versatile as a human.

What is broad and narrow AI? ›

Broad AI is a term used to describe AI that is able to handle a range of tasks, while narrow AI is AI that is designed to handle a specific task. The difference between the two is that broad AI is more versatile and can handle a wider range of tasks, while narrow AI is more focused and can only handle a specific task.

Is general AI possible? ›

There is no such thing as artificial general intelligence. AGI is neither possible nor impossible. It is, rather, incoherent as a concept. Intelligence is not a single, well-defined, generalizable capability, nor even a particular set of capabilities.

What is broad and narrow AI? ›

Broad AI is a term used to describe AI that is able to handle a range of tasks, while narrow AI is AI that is designed to handle a specific task. The difference between the two is that broad AI is more versatile and can handle a wider range of tasks, while narrow AI is more focused and can only handle a specific task.

What is the difference between weak general and super AI? ›

If it's good at specific actions only, it's narrow or weak AI. If it operates at the same level as a human in any situation, it's strong AI. And, if it's operating far above the capacity any human could hope for, it's artificial superintelligence.

What is narrow AI example? ›

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) is defined as the goal-oriented version of AI designed to better perform a single task such as tracking weather updates, generating data science reports by analyzing raw data, or playing games such as poker, chess, etc.

What is the another name of the narrow AI? ›

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) / Weak AI / Narrow AI. Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), also referred to as weak AI or narrow AI, is the only type of artificial intelligence we have successfully realized to date.

Is there a general AI? ›

The other use of the term AI is to describe something we call general AI, or often AGI. It doesn't exist yet except in science fiction, and no one knows how to make it. A general AI is a computer program that is as intellectually versatile as a human.

What is generalized AI? ›

What is artificial general intelligence (AGI)? Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the representation of generalized human cognitive abilities in software so that, faced with an unfamiliar task, the AGI system could find a solution.

What is general purpose AI? ›

Article 3 — 'General purpose AI system' means an AI system that is able to perform generally ap- plicable functions such as image/speech recognition, audio/video generation, pattern detection, question answering, translation, etc, and is able to have multiple intended and unintended purposes.

What are two types of AI explain? ›

Artificial intelligence is generally divided into two types – narrow (or weak) AI and general AI, also known as AGI or strong AI. More recently a third type has been introduced – conscious AI.

How AI is different from general intelligence? ›

Conclusion. Human intelligence revolves around adapting to the environment using a combination of several cognitive processes. The field of Artificial intelligence focuses on designing machines that can mimic human behavior. However, AI researchers are able to go as far as implementing Weak AI, but not the Strong AI.

What are the characteristics of artificial general intelligence? ›

Artificial general intelligence is also called strong AI or deep AI. This is a concept of the machine with general intelligence that mimics human intelligence, with the ability to think, understand, learn and apply its intelligence to solve any problem as humans do in any given situation.

Who invented narrow AI? ›

AI, as envisioned by McCarthy and his colleagues, is an artificial intelligence system that can learn tasks and solve problems without being explicitly instructed on every single detail. It should be able to do reasoning and abstraction, and easily transfer knowledge from one domain to another.

Why is narrow AI also known as weak AI? ›

Weak artificial intelligence (AI)—also called narrow AI—is a type of artificial intelligence that is limited to a specific or narrow area. Weak AI simulates human cognition. It has the potential to benefit society by automating time-consuming tasks and by analyzing data in ways that humans sometimes can't.


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