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13.4: Types of AI

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    AI systems are different from humans and machines, and the degree of variation helps in classifying the different types of AI.  AI can be classified based on ability, and functionality. There are three categories of AI based on ability: narrow AI, general AI and super AI.

    Types of AI: Based on Ability

    Categories of Artificial Intelligence Based on Ability are narrow AI, general AI and super AI
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Categories of Artificial Intelligence Based on Ability
    Ability of AI Description
    Artificial Narrow Intelligence (A.N.I) A form of weak AI refers to a computer’s ability to perform a single task  well.  This is the type of AI we see today. Natural language processing used in smart assistants like Siri and Google are examples of narrow AI.
    Artificial General Intelligence (A.G.I) A form of strong AI that mimics human intelligence. It means that machines have the ability to apply what they have learned across different tasks, take in new information, and apply reason.
    Artificial Super Intelligence (A.S.I) A form of supernatural AI that exceeds human capabilities.

    Despite having developed complex machines and applications such as Siri, Alexa, or other virtual assistants, all AI systems that currently exist are classified as A.N.I. According to a general consensus among researchers, A.G.I and A.S.I are still decades away.[1]

    Example: Chatbots

    Chat-bots and/or virtual assistants (i.e. Siri, and Alexa) are computer programs that use AI and natural language processing (NLP) to understand customer questions and automate responses to them, simulating human conversation.[2] These bots are cloud-based and able to gather information, such as user preferences or browsing history, to provide solutions that are specific to each individual. Chat-bots improve the individual customer experience as the Cloud is able to provide personalized and relevant information.

    In the hospitality industry, Best Western in collaboration with IBM Watson Advertising managed to use AI and NLP to create a more personalized customer experience for those looking to book Best Western hotels for their holidays. Specifically, “Conversations”, an AI-powered advertising model from IBM, was used to provide one-on-one connections and recommend options based on the user’s intent.[3]  For example, Conversations was able to provide users with ads containing information on their destination, and other tips and tricks!

    Types of AI: Based on Functionality

    AI can also be categorized based on functionality: reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-awareness.

    Categories of Artificial Intelligence Based on functionality
    Categories of Artificial Intelligence Based on functionality include reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind and self awareness
    Function of AI Description of Function
    Reactive Machines AI that conducts tasks for specific objectives. It is the first step of any AI system where no learning takes place. An example of this type of AI is Deep Blue the IBM program that beat chess champion Garry Kasparov.
    Limited Memory Is the ability of AI to use past experience and information to make predictions.
    Theory of Mind AI with the awareness that others have their own beliefs, objectives, and intentions. This type of AI is not yet developed and will be able to distinguish and understand emotion.
    Self-Aware  AI with the sense of self and consciousness. This type of AI is not yet developed.

    Types of AI: Based on Application

    There are a number of applications of AI ranging from ….

    Application  Description of Application
    Automation The use of machines, control systems and information technologies to optimize productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services.[1]
    Robots The use of machines to perform tasks traditionally done by humans.
    Intelligent Agents The use of software to perform specific tasks.
    Expert Systems Aim to emulate the human ability to make decisions in specific contexts.
    Machine Learning Uses data and algorithms to imitate the way humans learn.
    Deep Learning Uses a process that replicates the human brain in data processing and also creates patterns for decision making.
    Natural Language Processing Allows computers to understand and communicate in human language.

    Many of these applications of AI will be explored in further detail in the following sections.


    1. automation. (n.d.). Definitions.net. https://www.definitions.net/definition/automation.
    2. Dilmegani, C. (2021, Aug 11). Will AI REACH singularity By 2060? 995 experts' opinions on AGI,” AIMultiple, 19-Jun-2021. https://research.aimultiple.com/artificial-general-intelligence-singularity-timing/ 
    3. Ibm.com. (n.d.) What is a chatbot? https://www.ibm.com/topics/chatbots 
    4. Ibm.com. (2021). IBM Watson Advertising Conversations - Overview. https://www.ibm.com/products/watson-advertising-conversations 

    13.4: Types of AI is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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