You’ve probably heard the term Artificial Intelligence or AI being thrown around at 3 am while binging cool science videos on YouTube, but most likely have no idea what it even means. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here is a collection of crucial information when it comes to the grand world of AI.
So, what’s Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning, reasoning, and self-correction.
Essentially, AI is an artificial or ‘fake’ intelligence that mimics human intelligence. It’s called artificial because, well, it’s artificial. Scraps of metal and computers are not born with this knowledge; we give it to them through the use of programming, or in other words, literal sentences that tell ’em what to do!
*Also, important to note: AI isn’t necessarily something only traditional robots may possess. From Siri to self-driving cars, AI is everywhere around us, and it’s definitely not limited to human-looking pieces of metal.
Types of Artificial Intelligence
Now, there are three different types of Artificial Intelligence, and it’s important to distinguish between these three, as the definition of AI is broad and vague, and can lead to a lot of confusion and misinterpretation.
Artificial Narrow Intelligence
Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), also known as “Weak” AI, is the AI that exists in our world today. Narrow AI is AI that is programmed to perform a single task, from checking the weather, being able to play chess, or analyzing raw data to write simple reports. These systems cannot perform outside of the single task that they are designed to perform.
Unlike humans, Narrow AI is not conscious, sentient, or driven by emotion. It operates only within a pre-determined, pre-defined range. It is called “Weak” AI is because these machines are nowhere close to having human-like intelligence as they lack the self-awareness, consciousness, and genuine intelligence to match our intelligence. In other words, they can’t think for themselves.
An example of Narrow AI is Siri. When we converse with Siri, all it can do — what it is designed to do — is process the human language, enter it into a search engine, and return to us with results. This is why it cannot answer abstract questions like the meaning of life, and simply responds with something super vague or links an article mentioning something similar.
Narrow AI has relieved and continues to relieve humans of a lot of the boring, routine, mundane tasks that we don’t want to do. Think organizing hundreds of files or buying dish soap. Narrow AI has added sooooo many benefits to our lives and has truly enriched it, which is why we shouldn’t underestimate it. It has also acted like stepping stones on our journey to Super Intelligence, something I’ll talk about a little later.
Artificial General Intelligence
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or “Strong” AI refers to machines that exhibit human intelligence. In other words, it can successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can. This sort of AI is where humans interact with machines and operating systems that are conscious, sentient, and driven by emotion and self-awareness.
General AI is expected to be able to reason, solve problems, make judgements under uncertainty, plan, learn, integrate prior knowledge in decision-making, and be innovative, imaginative and creative. But for machines to achieve true human-like intelligence, they will need to be capable of experiencing consciousness, which is where Super AI comes into play.
Artificial Super Intelligence
Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) will surpass human intelligence in all aspects — from creativity, to general wisdom, to problem-solving.
University of Oxford philosopher, Nick Bostrom, defines superintelligence as:
“any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest”.
This is the type of AI that many people are worried about, and the type of AI that will lead to AI Takeover, and will cause the extinction of the human race.
- Narrow AI cannot exhibit human intelligence, but rather can be programmed for the completion of a single, basic task,
- General AI can exhibit human intelligence and can successfully perform any task a human can.
- Super AI surpasses human intelligence and can lead to AI Takeover