If you use a smartphone, you probably have come across narrow AI.

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SwissCognitive, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Bots, CDO, CIO, CI, Cognitive Computing, Deep Learning, IoT, Machine Learning, NLP, Robot, Virtual reality, learningIt’s the level of artificial intelligence we currently have access to, and probably the only one we will have for a few years or decades more.

But don’t be deceived by the term narrow. Although this AI has a limited set of abilities and merely tries to mimic the human brain, it’s pretty adept when it comes to performing the single task it’s designed to do.

It makes self-driving cars a reality, recommends the products you’re more likely to buy and movies you’ll be interested in watching, and even keeps your email inbox free of spam messages.

Narrow AI systems can analyze and interpret data with remarkable accuracy and better timing than humans. It can help us make better data-driven decisions, and more importantly, relieve us from numerous monotonous tasks.

Although this type of machine intelligence lacks consciousness or the ability to reason, it strives to improve all aspects of human life with automation and is an indispensable, ingenious technology of the 21st century.

Simply put, ANI operates within a pre-defined range and can’t think for itself. It performs just the specific tasks it’s designed to do and never attempts to achieve anything beyond them. But this won’t be the case when AI technologies progress and we create machines with human-level intelligence.

General AI vs. narrow AI

Artificial general intelligence, or general AI, is an AI system capable of learning, comprehending, and functioning just like human beings. Such an AI agent will have artificial consciousness (the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings) and be able to solve unfamiliar problems.

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General AI is also known as full AI or strong AI and will have human intelligence. However, we’re years away from creating such artificial intelligence systems, and their estimated time of arrival ranges from decades to centuries, depending on the AI researcher you ask.

One of the most significant differences between narrow AI and general AI is that the former lacks consciousness or the ability to reason. Additionally, general AI has a wide range of cognitive abilities (brain-based skills which are essential for communicating, acquiring knowledge, and reasoning) – similar to humans – while weak AI has none. […]

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