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For those of you who are intrigued – not fatigued – by all the talk and even hype about AI, then this article is for you. We break it all down, simplify it, and show you the four main types of AI and how it can help you.

First, start with the definition – AI (artificial intelligence) is the science of making machines that can think like humans. It is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

Here are the four basic types of AI, according to Forbes:

  1. Reactive Machines

These are the oldest forms of AI systems and have extremely limited capability. They do not have memory-based functionality or the ability to “learn.” These machines can only be used for automatically responding to a limited set or combination of inputs. They cannot be used to rely on memory to improve their operations.

  1. Limited Memory

Limited memory machines are capable of learning from historical data to make decisions. Nearly all present-day applications of AI fall under this category. These AI systems are trained by large volumes of data that they store in their memory. Most AI applications today, from chatbots and virtual assistants to self-driving vehicles, are driven by limited-memory AI.

  1. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Artificial General Intelligence is the ability of a system to learn, perceive, understand, and function completely like a human being. AGI will be able to independently form connections and generalizations across domains, cutting down on the time needed for training. This will make AI systems just as capable as humans by replicating our multi-functional capabilities.

  1. Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)

The development of Artificial Superintelligence will mark the pinnacle of AI research, as ASI will become by far the most capable form of intelligence on earth. ASI, in addition to replicating the multi-faceted intelligence of human beings, will be exceedingly better at everything we do because of overwhelmingly greater memory, faster data processing and analysis, and decision-making capabilities.

While the potential of having such powerful machines seems appealing, these machines may also threaten our existence or at the very least, our way of life.

For those who fear about the future of AI, you don’t need to worry – at least not yet. There’s still time to ensure AI guardrails and safety. For those who are optimistic about the future of AI, the fact that we’ve only scratched the surface of AI development makes it even more exciting.

We hope this breakdown helps. But because AI is advancing so quickly, and gets more sophisticated by the day, we may have to update this list soon. If you would like to learn more, click here.