AI, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, Businessman holds a smart phone with artificial intelligence data to control the robot to work in factory, Innovative of technology and futuristic.

What are the different types of artificial intelligence?

Posted on: June 7, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the field of computer science that enables machines and devices to perform tasks that would ordinarily require human intelligence and cognitive abilities, including:

  • learning
  • creating
  • reasoning
  • translating
  • problem-solving
  • decision-making

There are different types of AI, and each has its own level of sophistication, capabilities, and uses. The three main types of AI are:

  1. Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI)
  2. Artificial general intelligence (AGI)
  3. Artificial super intelligence (ASI)

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI)

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) is designed to perform specific tasks. Also known as weak AI, ANI is not able to learn beyond its programmed capabilities. Examples of narrow AI include:

  • Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, which use speech recognition.
  • Self-driving cars, such as those built by Elon Musk’s Tesla, which use vision recognition and image processing AI.
  • Netflix and other streaming platforms, which use user data to provide tailored recommendations.
  • Computer vision, which Microsoft defines as a type of AI that allows machines to identify and understand objects and people in images and videos. It seeks to replicate the way the human brain sees – and the way human minds make sense of what they see.

ANI is also used across various professional sectors, such as:

  • Healthcare, where it can analyse medical records and assist in diagnosing diseases.
  • Finance, where it can detect fraud.
  • Manufacturing, where it can optimise production through automation.
  • Customer service, where it can answer frequently asked questions.
  • Security, where it can utilise facial recognition technology.
  • Data science and analysis, with machine learning-powered artificial intelligence systems trawling through large datasets to help categorise and analyse huge amounts of data.

Artificial general intelligence (AGI)

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) aims to perform intellectual tasks in the way that a human can. Also known as strong AI, AGI aims to learn and adapt to new situations, just like a person would, and not be limited to one specific task or area. Instead, it should be applied across various fields.

General artificial intelligence has potential applications in robotics, where machines can think and make decisions on their own – making them more efficient and productive – but it could also revolutionise industries from healthcare to transportation.

General AI is what artificial intelligence experts are currently working towards.

Artificial super intelligence (ASI)

Artificial super intelligence (ASI) operates beyond human-level intelligence, capable of outsmarting human beings in potentially every field of knowledge and activity. It is however, currently a hypothetical concept because no system has yet achieved ASI. Despite this, it is a topic of much discussion and debate in the field of AI.

Proponents of ASI believe it has the potential to change the world as we know it, solving many of the world’s most complex problems, from climate change to disease eradication.

Others, however, have concerns about the risks associated with ASI, such as loss of human control over machines, and even the potential for machines to become self-aware or a threat to human existence.

Understanding the differences between ANI, AGI, and ASI

There are a number of differences between each of AI’s types.

Artificial general intelligence versus artificial narrow intelligence

AGI aims to perform any intellectual task a human can, while ANI is designed to perform a single task, or set of tasks, based on its programming.

Artificial general intelligence versus artificial super intelligence

AGI aims to learn and adapt to new situations in the same way a human might, while ASI aims to operate beyond human-level intelligence, and even outsmart humans.

Artificial narrow intelligence versus artificial super intelligence

ANI is focused on one area and is not able to learn beyond its programmed capabilities, while super AI aims to be capable of outsmarting human beings in virtually every field of knowledge and activity.

What is generative artificial intelligence?

Generative AI is a rapidly expanding kind of artificial intelligence and machine learning that can create wholly new, computer-generated content. This includes:

  • imagery, including photography and art
  • written text, from poetry and fiction to programming code
  • videos and simulations
  • audio, including music and speech.

Unlike other types of AI, which are focused on performing a specific task, generative AI is focused on creativity and innovation, and it uses machine learning techniques – such as deep learning and neural networks – to generate new content. 

Generative AI has many potential AI applications. It can be used in creative fields, such as art, literature, and music. It can also support work in areas such as new product and service development, or support the healthcare sector by generating personalised treatment plans for patients based on their individual genetic makeup and ailments.

One well-known example of generative AI is ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a natural language processing model that interprets human prompts and responds by generating new text. According to an article from LinkedIn, ChatGPT can be a helpful tool in fields such as marketing.

However, despite its uses, there are also common sense concerns about the ethical implications of generative AI. For example, there is a rising number of deepfakes – fake media content that appears to be real or legitimate – on the internet and other channels. This technology could be used for malicious purposes, such as spreading fake news, or committing identity theft. So while generative AI is a promising field that can greatly help humankind, it’s also important to ensure its development is done in an ethical and responsible way.

The future of AI

The current state of today’s AI systems has already had a profound impact on society – and this impact will only grow greater.

IBM, for example, suggests that AI’s imminent future includes greater innovation, life-changing applications, and advances in AI creativity.

As AI research expands, and AI development continues to enhance AI algorithms, machine intelligence and thought processes will continue to grow, working towards the goals of general intelligence – and even super intelligence.

Launch your career in artificial intelligence

Join the AI revolution and thrive in a high-growth field with the 100% online MSc Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence at the University of Wolverhampton. This flexible Master’s degree has been developed for forward-thinking individuals who may not have a background in computer science.

Studying this course, you will experience the application of AI in the real world, from image and speech processing through to web chatbots. The emphasis of the course is not only on the theoretical, but also the practical application of this technology in new and ever-evolving domains. Topics of study include:

  • data science
  • machine learning
  • intelligent agents
  • data mining
  • informatics
No. 1 Ranked in the UK For Teaching first generation students
85% of research 'world-leading' or 'internationally important' (latest REF)
Online Psychology Master’s accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
22,000 A university of 22,000 students
1827 Providing education and opportunity since 1827