As the world continues to progress, it has seemed unavoidable that technology becomes an increasing part of day to day life. While many see this as great importance and convenience, others argue it could be the downfall of humanity. However, it depends on how far people are willing to allow AI to go. When thinking of technology in the future, many people imagine the usual flying cars and self-functioning robots. But there is a difference put into specific categories that many people aren’t aware of. There are a number of variations of AI that individuals who are interested in the subject have created. Some have made broad categories for types, and others have made detailed scales describing the types of AI seen in the present day or in science fiction movies, television shows, or books.
To begin, the most basic form of artificial intelligence happens to be like the beginning stages of technology itself. The type of technology most assume is “Purely Reactive” otherwise known as “Type 1” or even “Narrow AI”. This type of knowledge within AI is similar to a computer or the type of computers that were first built.
An AI that had limited understanding or awareness and was programmed only to carry out what the user instructs it to do. Of course many computers today are still like this, whether individuals use it for coding or programming, the machine has been made with a set of rules and scenarios to produce a result for every possible command the user has.
This limited knowledge is what leads many to categorize other simple machines as “purely reactive”. A machine that specializes in specific requests and commands.
In today’s society, this type of AI is becoming more common. What so many consider to be a great convenience to carry out tasks and needs with little effort are the machines like “Amazon Echo” or “Google Home”. They are devices that have abilities to understand and respond to request on a greater scale. Contrary to “narrow AI” (simply having programmed knowledge to respond to possible results of the user) machines today with a “Type 2” AI, receive knowledge and continue to gather it from representations of the world or other’s questions or commands.
This gathering of information allows for an archive of memory that understands patterns. Therefore, with a little more free room to move, machines like this are also able to make fewer mistakes and respond accordingly.
The third type of AI is the type of artificial intelligence people typically find in movies, television, and books. Usually, they are robots and machines that are considered past modern time and resources. These are the machines that most think are “cool” as they are able to act and behave so much like a real human, but still keeping in mind that they are robots. This “Type 3” AI thinks on a bigger plane than type 1 or type 2 combined. With the ability to execute commands like type 1 but also retain knowledge like type 2, type three allows machines to react and understand human emotions. It is this level of ability that many will find characters in movies becoming attached to. At the same time, many might find this level of intelligence to be feared because such capability to behave like a human is unsettling. And the reason for their unease leads to Type 4.
Finally, there is the “Type 4” AI, seeming to only be a modification or slight advance from type 3. It is this level where machines are not only able to carry out a request, retain memory, and understand human reactions, but this level takes robots to the point where they are more human themselves.
AI at this point is now self-aware of who they are and what they are. They are considered highly intelligent at this point, caring, and with an inner conscience. Such ability makes people associate this AI with extraterrestrial interference or knowledge.