Understanding Artificial Intelligence Terms

artificial intelligence terms

As we all know currently we are in the age of industry 4.0, the age where machines become more intelligent. Many consider artificial intelligence and blockchain as buzzwords but we’ve seen things already taking shape in different sectors. And we’re just getting started. This article discusses the three important areas of artificial intelligence, giving us a good perspective on where we are currently.

Artificial intelligence which is the ability of computers to accomplish complex tasks and be able to mimic the working of a human brain has three distinct categories. These are Narrow intelligence, General intelligence, and Superintelligence.

Narrow Intelligence

This is the current phase where we are in artificial intelligence. Narrow Intelligence is the ability of a computer to be able to accomplish only very specific goals—like mapping of activities input A to output B—compared to what the human mind can do to accomplish a broad set of activities. Examples include the Google DeepMind which can play dozens of vintage Atari games or Alpha Go at the same level as human or even better.  However, this does not compare to human intelligence which is uniquely broad—a well-trained human brain can master the same games but go on and master other areas like languages, sports, etc. We humans beat machines hands down when it comes to the breadth of activities we can accomplish but machines beat us at very small but growing narrow domains.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is the ability of a computer to perform a broad range of activities that a human can do. There’s no guarantee as of now that we’ll be able to build human-level AGI machines in our lifetime or ever, but we can’t dismiss the possibility of this occurring at the same time. We, humans, are yet to understand how the brain fully functions and replicating this ability to machines as of now this is impractical. We have, however, seen some progress in the theoretical development of algorithms through deep learning which enables machines to recognize patterns and replicate this into other facets. But being honest, this is a long shot that we might not be able to achieve in the next 20-50 years as envisioned by many AI researchers.

Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

This is the holy grail of artificial intelligence. In movies, ASI is what is being depicted—a point in which the intelligence of computers surpasses the intelligence of humans. This is what we call singularity. This is a future where we currently don’t know if it’ll be good or bad for humanity. We, humans, have managed to dominate the earth by outsmarting other life forms. Could this be the same scenario when computers outsmart us?

These are some of the questions that we need to ask ourselves and it is essential for us to put in place the right processes and controls to enable us to handle the risks that might come from the future we envision. My question to all of us, can AI overtake the world?

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About the author

Powell Omondi

Powell Omondi

Powell Omondi is an IT consultant with experience in digital strategy and system controls evaluation. As an avid technology futuristic, Powell enjoys writing about emerging trends that will shape the technological landscape.