Narrow vs. General Artificial Intelligence

“Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.”

Did you all remember a decade before how our life was? Or just imagine you’re lying on a couch and someone is doing all the work?

Once Alan Turing asked “Can machines Think?”, at that time it seemed like an outlandish thought but now we can do every next thing through AI, from detecting diseases to recognizing emotions, from flying drones to translating between languages. Today’s AI not only processes data but leads its way to the future. It seems AI is indeed developing a mind of its own.

Great physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking once said “Computers will overtake humans with AI within the next 100 years.” By 2045 we would reach into a time when AI becomes more powerful than humans. This declension point will separate two paths in AI, what we know today – Narrow AI and what we would come across in future states – General AI that can apply intelligence to any problem.

Now let’s trail through today’s world of AI or the Narrow AI. It is basically a specific type of AI in which a technology outperforms humans in some very narrowly defined task. It cornerstones on a single subset of cognitive abilities and advances in that spectrum.

‘Hello Google’, are you familiar with these words? I hope everyone has spelled these at least once. Google Assistant and followed by few more like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, all are examples of narrow AI.

From self-driving cars to customer service bots, from Google’s page-ranking technology to spam filters, from facial recognition tools to recommendation systems, everything around us is represented under this category. It has now become a prime investment for many companies and they are implementing to improve efficiency, cut costs and automate tasks.

But after all these aren’t you fascinated by Jarvis in Iron Man or R2 – D2 in Star Wars? Obviously you are and thus researchers are labelling as the future of AI or General AI. It allows a machine to apply knowledge and skills in different contexts. This can be resembled to human brains with the power for autonomous learning and problem solving. Do you know currently one of the main approaches to General AI is called whole brain emulation where a brain’s memory and mental states are transferred onto a computer.

The barriers of Narrow AI like large amounts of high-quality data to acquire accurate results, the effectiveness decreases as a task changes, etc. are addressed and thus moving towards a new paradigm that is General AI.

Although we still have a long way to go before General AI, but AI is moving quickly with new discoveries and milestones emerging all the time.

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