Artificial Intelligence is probably one of the most complex and astounding creations of humanity yet. Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer program to perform activities of the human mind such as decision-making, learning, and problem-solving. A characteristic of AI is in its ability to rationalize and take actions that’ll have the best chances of achieving a specific goal within the mentioned timeframe.
AI, in itself, is a vast field. It includes machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing, genetic algorithms, and computational creativity, to name just a few. With advances in computing power, it increasingly seems likely that artificial intelligence is evolving from simple to self-aware machines. Here is a look at where Al is now, and the prospect of what it may become in near future. We will discuss the different types of Artificial Intelligence in the coming sections.
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TYPE I PURELY REACTIVE AI
This is the most basic form of Al. It perceives its environment/situation directly and acts accordingly. This type of AI doesn’t have a concept of the broad world. It doesn’t have any ability to form memories or draw on past experiences to affect current decisions. This type was created to specialize in one area only. It doesn’t rely on an internal notion of the world. These machines will behave exactly the same way every time they encounter the same situation. These simplest AI systems are diligent so they won’t ever be bored, or interested, or sad.
- IBM’s chess-playing supercomputer, Deep Blue which beat Kasparov at chess
- Google’s AlphaGo which triumphed over human Go champions
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TYPE II LIMITED MEMORY
This Type II class contains machines that can look into the past with its limited memory. In addition to having the capabilities of purely reactive machines, they are also capable of learning from past data to make decisions. Self-driving cars of these days work the same way. For example, they observe other cars’ speed and direction. Then they add them to its preprogrammed representations of the world. It has just enough memory or experience to make proper decisions and execute appropriate actions. Almost all existing applications that we know of today fall under this category of AI. Examples:
- Self-driving vehicles
- Personal digital assistants like Siri
TYPE III THEORY OF MIND
Type III AI divides between the machines we have and the machines we will build in the future. This type of AI has the capacity to understand thoughts and emotions which affect human behaviour. This types of AI, for now, exists either as a concept or a work in progress. This next level of AI systems that researchers are currently engaged in is innovating. Theory of mind level AI will be able to better understand the entities that are interacting with. It has the ability to discern their needs, emotions, beliefs, and thought processes and interact socially. In psychology, this is called “theory of mind“.
Actually, this type can have thoughts and emotions that affect their own behaviour. If AI systems ever walk among us, they’ll have to be able to understand that each of us has thoughts, feelings and expectations for how we’ll be treated. Eventually, they’ll have to adjust their behaviour accordingly. Examples:-
- C-3P0 and R2-D2 from the Star Wars universe
- Sonny in the 2004 film I, Robot
TYPE IV SELF-AWARE AI
This is thought to be the final stage of AI, which currently exists, only hypothetically. Self-aware AI is an AI that would evolve to be akin to the human brain that has self-awareness. An extension of the theory of mind, they are aware of their internal states and can predict the feelings of others. They are the future generation of machines: super-intelligent, sentient, and conscious.
Ultimately, AI researchers will have to not only understand consciousness but build machines that have it. And this is the type of AI that doomsayers of the technology are wary of. Although the development of self-aware can potentially boost our progress as a civilization, it can also potentially lead to catastrophe.
- Eva in the 2015 movie Ex Machina
- Synths in the 2015 TV series Humans