November 29, 2023

Exploring the basics of artificial intelligence

The concept of artificial intelligence does not need much introduction. It has taken the world by storm in recent years, with a significant percentage of companies incorporating at least one AI capability into their processes. However, the truth is that AI still remains a complicated topic that many people do not understand very well. In this article, we will try to give a simple answer to a complex question: what is artificial intelligence? In addition to defining it, we will look at the subsets of artificial intelligence as well as the 7 types of artificial intelligence.

What is artificial intelligence?

Giving artificial intelligence a concrete definition is a rather difficult task. We could attribute this to the fact that artificial intelligence is a combination of many other technologies that work together to enable devices to function with intelligence that is as human-like as possible. The definition we could conclude is that artificial intelligence refers to the process by which machines receive, analyze and combine information in a way that allows them to perform tasks usually performed by humans, such as visual and auditory recognition, decision-making, language. processing and many more.

AI vs. Machine learning vs. Deep learning

We often hear artificial intelligence used interchangeably with other buzzwords such as machine learning (ML) or deep learning. However, this is a flawed approach, as machine learning is a subset of the overarching category of AI. If we wanted to define machine learning, we would be talking about techniques and algorithms that allow an AI system to “learn” through a set of data that acts as examples. The more advanced machine learning is, the better results it produces and the less human training it needs. Specifically, there are three types of ML: supervised algorithms, unsupervised models, and reinforcement learning.

Deep learning, in turn, is a subset of machine learning where neural networks are used to further analyze stimuli and provide more accurate results. This technique comes a little closer to human intelligence, as it processes data in several layers, where various details and criteria are analyzed. Deep learning is mostly used in natural speech and vision processing devices such as voice assistants and facial recognition systems.

What are the 7 types of artificial intelligence?

To better understand artificial intelligence, we need to explore its different types. Depending on the level of emulation of human intelligence that an AI system can achieve, we classify them into different types. Based on this criterion, we get two common AI classifications. The first is based on features and the second is based on abilities. Let’s see what types are included in each category.

Feature-based AI types

1. Jet engine: It is the oldest and most basic form of artificial intelligence. These machines can only replicate a human’s ability to respond to stimuli. They have no memory and thus cannot “learn” from past experiences.

2. Limited memory: This is the next step of AI, and it’s the one that occurs most often around us. Machines with limited memory base their responses to stimuli on the sets of relevant data they have stored. Such systems can be found in most of the chatbots and virtual assistants we use.

3. Theory of Mind: Although the previous two categories have been around for quite some time, this one is a work in progress. Theory of Mind AI must be able to distinguish human emotions and thoughts through expressions and body language. Although some steps have been taken, this type of artificial intelligence requires the development of additional models and technologies.

4. Self-awareness: We finally have self-aware AI, which is just a concept for now. Such machines – if you can call them that – would reach such a level of intelligence that they would not only be able to evoke emotions, but also feel and possibly think on their own. We are decades or even centuries away from achieving something like that, and it would most certainly change the course of human history.

Ability-based AI types

5. Narrow AI: Narrow or weak AI refers to a type of AI that can only perform the specific task it was programmed to do. Although it sounds simple or insufficient, NAI includes all artificial intelligence systems that have been created to date. In other words, all artificial intelligence systems with reactive and limited memory.

6. General Artificial Intelligence: General or strong artificial intelligence hopes to nearly match human intelligence by being able to learn and understand as well as apply its knowledge in circumstances other than those in which it was trained. Such a system has not yet been created, although considerable sums have been invested.

7. Super AI: If the development of artificial superintelligence is achieved, it will be the pinnacle of artificial intelligence research. Such technology will be able to surpass human intelligence because it will be able to understand human emotions and experience them itself. Moreover, he will have his own perceptions, thoughts and beliefs.


More advanced forms of artificial intelligence might seem like a script straight out of a sci-fi movie. However, we have already incorporated simpler forms of artificial intelligence into our lives, often without realizing it. For this reason, it is important that we learn more about this technology that is changing and will continue to change the way we live. Hopefully, this brief overview of what artificial intelligence is, as well as its types and subgroups, has helped you gain a deeper understanding of the basics of artificial intelligence.

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