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The Three Stages of AI

Harvard (Charles River) IMG 7698
(Harvard University - Harvard Taiwan Student Association)



- Overview

The modern project of creating human-like artificial intelligence (AI) started after World War II, when it was discovered that electronic computers are not just number-crunching machines, but can also manipulate symbols. It is possible to pursue this goal without assuming that machine intelligence is identical to human intelligence. This is known as weak AI. However, many AI researcher have pursued the aim of developing artificial intelligence that is in principle identical to human intelligence, called strong AI. Weak AI is less ambitious than strong AI, and therefore less controversial. However, there are important controversies related to weak AI as well.


- Three Types (Stages) of AI - Based on Capabilities

There are multiple approaches to create Artificial Intelligence, based on what we hope to achieve with it and how will we measure its success. It ranges from extremely rare and complex systems, like self driving cars and robotics, to something that is a part of our daily lives, like face recognition, machine translation and email classification. The path you take will depend upon what are the goals of your AI and how well you understand the complexity and feasibility of various approaches.

AI can be divided in various types, there are mainly three types of main categorization which are based on capabilities and based on functionally of AI. Following is to explain the three types of AI.

  • Narrow (or Weak) AI
  • General (Strong) AI
  • Artificial Super Intelligence


These are the three stages through which AI can evolve. We have currently only achieved narrow AI. As machine learning capabilities continue to evolve, and scientists get closer to achieving general AI, theories and speculations regarding the future of AI are circulating.  

There are two main theories. One theory is based on fear of a dystopian future, where super intelligent killer robots take over the world, either wiping out the human race or enslaving all of humanity, as depicted in many science fiction narratives. The other theory predicts a more optimistic future, where humans and bots work together, humans using AI as a tool to enhance their life experience. 



[More to come ...]

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