• Vignesh LS

Types of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

By now even a 10th class student studying in a remote village is familiar with this word. In the recent times, we have heard a lot about voice assistants, chat bots, robots etc and the activities they are involved in. But did you notice that all the machines involved use AI but have variations in it. For example, AlphaGO – Google’s GO playing AI developed by its subsidiary Deep Mind plays only the game but doesn’t perform any other activity and the chat bots that we come across are programmed to answer questions related to specific topics and Sophia the popular humanoid robot can talk, maintain eye contact, recognise individuals and recently has been upgraded with functional legs.

All these use AI but vary in the degree of complexity involved. Hence, AI can be categorized into 3 types based on the application and they are 

• Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

• Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

• Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

All the voice assistants like Siri, Alexa or AlphaGo etc., kind of projects come under ANI which are programmed to perform only specific tasks and their cognitive abilities1 are less than that of a human.  

Sophia or the coffee test robot built by Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak (robot built to understand if it can make a coffee in a typical housing environment) have the same cognitive abilities as that of a human and come under AGI.

Coming to ASI, these are machines with their cognitive abilities surpassing that of humans and this is referred to as Singularity in Technology community. This is by far not expected to happen very soon as AGI itself is in its nascent form. But Masayoshi Son, Founder and CEO of SoftBank predicts scientists aren’t far away from achieving ASI and might come into reality as early as 2019.

Cognitive abilities: - Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills that we need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex. They have more to do with the mechanisms of how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention, rather than with any actual knowledge