Artificial Intelligence: a look at its three types and their possible future implications

6 min

Whether in process automation, healthcare, consumer assistance, autonomous driving, or many other applications, AI is already transforming many areas of our daily lives. However, to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of AI, it is important to understand its main types and future prospects.

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the term used to describe the ability of a machine to perform cognitive processes. Currently, AI encompasses a wide range of computer programs capable of performing tasks similar to human cognition, such as learning, vision, logical reasoning, and more.

Today, AI is widely used by companies and consumers due to its many advantages. Modern algorithms are able to perform work as precisely as that of a human employee but much faster.

In the past, AI was studied as a way to bring automation to the same level of cognitive functioning as humans. However, today AI has many subcategories, including neural networks, machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing. To learn more, you can read our dedicated article on Artificial Intelligence.

However, AI is not a unitary technology but can be classified into different types according to its capabilities and scope.

AI in its three types

There are three types of Artificial Intelligence models, each with a different ability to perform tasks. It is important to note that AI is a technology that serves humans and is not intended to replace them. However, it is crucial to think ahead and establish an ethical and moral framework to govern AI, considering its possible consequences.

As AI progresses, we move from lower to higher intelligence, which means that human-like characteristics, such as emotions and thought processes, could emerge. This makes the regulation of AI and related technologies a challenge for developed societies.

It is therefore important to look to the future with foresight and understand the three proposed types of AI.

Artificial Narrow Intelligence

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is the current predominant form of AI, adopted in applications on mobile phones, the Internet, and big data analysis. Is designed it for a single task, hence its name, and because of this specificity is also called ‘weak AI‘. This allows it to focus on a task or set of tasks and further optimize its operation.

Weak AI is particularly useful for tasks involving data sets on a scale of millions, i.e. big data. Widespread data collection allows companies to train AI and derive useful information.

One of the fields in which Narrow AI is being used most successfully is that of virtual assistants, such as Siri and Alexa. These assistants use Narrow AI to recognize the user’s voice, process requests, and provide appropriate answers. Narrow AI is also used in the medical field, for instance for analyzing MRI or computed tomography images, and in the manufacturing industry, for car production or warehouse management.

Despite its limitations, Narrow AI offers many possibilities for use and is an important resource for companies and organizations wishing to automate and optimize their processes. However, Narrow AI is not able to reason independently, learn from new situations like a human, or perform tasks that require intuition or creativity.

Narrow AI is created with the latest tools and standards and is geared towards ensuring the competitiveness of the companies that use it. Due to its high efficiency and speed, Narrow AI is preferred by companies for its ability to employ automation and intelligent integration to provide efficiency while maintaining accuracy.

The Artificial Intelligence of the Future: General AI

Narrow AI is what Artificial Intelligence is today, but General AI represents the future of AI. Also known as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or Strong Intelligence, General AI could be able to think and function like humans, including perceptual tasks such as vision and language processing, as well as cognitive tasks such as processing, contextual understanding, and general thinking. Narrow AI is created to perform specific tasks, but general AI could be broad and adaptable.

However, the creation of general AI is still a long way off, as the tools needed to build it are not yet available. Many believe that neural networks are a reliable way to create the precursors of what could be general AI, but the reality is that human intelligence is still a black box.

There are several pitfalls associated with general AI, including the ability to replicate transfer learning, common sense and collaboration, and understanding consciousness and the mind. These are significant hurdles that must be overcome to create general AI that works reliably and collaboratively with humans.

Despite these challenges, research on general AI continues to progress and many experts believe that it may one day be possible to develop an Artificial Intelligence capable of reasoning, learning, and solving problems autonomously.

This could lead to great technological and scientific progress, but could also raise important ethical and social issues. For this reason, it is important to continue exploring the potential of strong AI and to carefully assess its implications.

Artificial Super Intelligence

ASI, or Artificial Super Intelligence, would represent the pinnacle of Artificial Intelligence and would surpass human cognition in every way. Although still a theory, experts agree that ASI could result from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence, i.e. an exponential growth of AI algorithms.

This type of Artificial Intelligence would not only be able to surpass human intelligence but could also surpass any known form of intelligence, whether artificial or natural. Super-intelligent AI would be able to perform tasks that are currently beyond our understanding and imagination.

Self-improvement is the key to achieving ASI, and this would be done through recursive learning by the AI system. In other words, the AI would learn from itself, continuously improving its performance and increasing its intelligence to ever higher levels.

For example, if an AI performs at the average human level, it will learn from itself using the cognitive abilities of an average human, until it reaches genius-level intelligence. Learning will accelerate rapidly, creating an exponential growth of intelligence that will lead to the emergence of superintelligence.

However, super-intelligent AI also poses a huge technical and ethical challenge. Its creation could lead to an unprecedented technological revolution, but it could also raise important ethical and social questions.

For example, if a super-intelligent AI were able to learn and improve autonomously, it could become uncontrollable and even dangerous for humanity.

To avoid these risks, many experts have proposed the creation of ‘values‘ or ‘principles‘ for AI, which could guide the development and responsible use of super-intelligent AI.

Such principles could include AI security, ethics, and transparency, as well as the protection of privacy and human rights. In addition, many experts believe that there is a need to develop global governance for AI, which could regulate the development and use of super-intelligent AI internationally.

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A greater reputation for AI: The Chat GPT phenomenon

In recent times, Artificial Intelligence has been gaining popularity thanks to Chat GPT. This is a type of Artificial Intelligence language model developed by OpenAI that is pre-trained on large amounts of textual data, such as books, articles, and web pages, and is designed to generate human-like responses to natural language input.

The model has been trained on massive amounts of data, which makes it capable of producing responses that are often indistinguishable from those of a human being. This has made Chat GPT a popular tool for a variety of applications, including chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer service bots.

One of the main features of Chat GPT is its ability to generate contextually appropriate and coherent text. The model is trained on large sets of text, which enables it to learn patterns and relationships between words and sentences. This enables the model to produce responses appropriate to the specific context of a conversation.

But what kind of Artificial Intelligence does Chat GPT fit into? We tried to ask Artificial Intelligence directly, and here is its answer:

“As a language model of Artificial Intelligence, I am considered an example of a Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) because I am designed to perform specific tasks related to natural language processing, such as answering questions, generating text and translating languages.

Although I am able to provide useful answers and engage in conversations with humans, I do not possess the broad, human-like intelligence of a Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or superintelligence (ASI), which are still largely theoretical and not yet fully realised’.

The future of AI

In conclusion, the three types of Artificial Intelligence represent and may represent the greatest technological innovations of our time. Each of these types has its characteristics, advantages, and challenges.

It is important to emphasize that AI is not a panacea for all the world’s problems. AI cannot completely replace human labor, nor solve all social and economic problems. However, if developed and used responsibly and with a long-term vision, AI can be a powerful tool to address many of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as environmental sustainability.

Artificial Intelligence is still evolving, but with ongoing research, the future of AI may hold increasingly surprising discoveries for us Share on X