The concept of intelligent beings has been around for a long time and have now found its way into many sectors such as AI in education, automotive, banking and finance, AI healthcare etc. The ancient Greeks had myths about robots as the Chinese and Egyptian engineers built automatons. However, the beginnings of modern AI has been traced back to the time where classical philosophers’ attempted to describe human thinking as a symbolic system.
Between the 1940s and 50s, a handful of scientists from various fields discussed the possibility of creating an artificial brain. This led to the rise of the field of AI research – which was founded as an academic discipline in 1956 – at a conference at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. The word was coined by John McCarthy, who is now considered as the father of Artificial Intelligence.
Despite a well-funded global effort over numerous decades, scientists found it extremely difficult to create intelligence in machines. Between the mid-1970s and 1990s, scientists had to deal with an acute shortage of funding for AI research. These years came to be known as the ‘AI Winters’. However, by the late 1990, American corporations once again were interested in AI. Furthermore, the Japanese government too, came up with plans to develop a fifth-generation computer for the advancement of AI. Finally, In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated the first computer to beat a world chess champion, Garry Kasparov.
As AI and its technology continued to march – largely due to improvements in computer hardware, corporations and governments too began to successfully use its methods in other narrow domains. The last 15 years, Amazon, Google, Baidu, and many others, have managed to leverage AI technology to a huge commercial advantage. AI, today, is embedded in many of the online services we use. As a result, the technology has managed to not only play a role in every sector, but also drive a large part of the stock market too.
Today, Artificial Intelligence is divided into sub-domains namely Artificial General Intelligence, Artificial Narrow Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence which we will discuss in detail in this article. We will also discuss the difference between AI and AGI.
Levels of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence can be divided into three main levels:
Artificial Narrow Intelligence
Artificial General Intelligence
Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
Also known as narrow AI or weak AI, Artificial narrow intelligence is goal-oriented and is designed to perform singular tasks. Although these machines are seen to be intelligent, they function under minimal limitations, and thus, are referred to as weak AI. It does not mimic human intelligence; it stimulates human behaviour based on certain parameters.
Narrow AI makes use of NLP or natural language processing to perform tasks. This is evident in technologies such as chatbots and speech recognition systems such as Siri. Making use of deep learning allows you to personalise user experience, such as virtual assistants who store your data to make your future experience better.
Examples of weak or narrow AI:
Siri, Alexa, Cortana
Facial recognition softwares
Email spam filters
Also known as strong AI or deep AI, artificial general intelligence refers to the concept through which machines can mimic human intelligence while showcasing the ability to apply their intelligence to solve problems. Scientists have not been able to achieve this level of intelligence yet. Significant research needs to be done before this level of intelligence can be achieved. Scientists would have to find a way through which machines can become conscious through programming a set of cognitive abilities. A few properties of deep AI are-
It is difficult to predict whether strong AI will continue to advance or not in the foreseeable future, but with speech and facial recognition continuously showing advancements, there is a slight possibility that we can expect growth in this level of AI too.
Artificial Super-intelligence (ASI)
Currently, super-intelligence is just a hypothetical concept. People assume that it may be possible to develop such an artificial intelligence in the future, but it doesn’t exist in the current world. Super-intelligence can be known as that level wherein the machine surpasses human capabilities and becomes self-aware. This concept has been the muse to several films, and science fiction novels wherein robots who are capable of developing their feelings and emotions can overrun humanity itself.
It would be able to build emotions of its own, and hypothetically, be better than humans at art, sports, math, science, and more. The decision-making ability of a super-intelligence would be greater than that of a human being. The concept of artificial super-intelligence is still unknown to us, its consequences can’t be guessed, and its impact cannot be measured just yet.