Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Categories and Applications

Original article was published by Vishnu Vijayan PV on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Categories and Applications

According to the father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy, it is “The science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs”.

Basically, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine or a computer program to think and learn. The concept of AI is based on the idea of building machines capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans.

AI is accomplished by studying how human brain thinks, and how humans learn, decide, and work while trying to solve a problem, and then using the outcomes of this study as a basis of developing intelligent software and systems.

Goals of AI

  • To Create Expert Systems − The systems which exhibit intelligent behaviour, learn, demonstrate, explain, and advice its users.
  • To Implement Human Intelligence in Machines − Creating systems that understand, think, learn, and behave like humans.

Programming Without and With AI

The programming without and with AI is different in following ways −

What is AI Technique?

In the real world, the knowledge has some unwelcomed properties −
• Its volume is huge, next to unimaginable.
• It is not well-organized or well-formatted.
• It keeps changing constantly.

AI Technique is a manner to organize and use the knowledge efficiently in such a way that −
• It should be perceivable by the people who provide it.
• It should be easily modifiable to correct errors.
• It should be useful in many situations though it is incomplete or inaccurate.

AI techniques elevate the speed of execution of the complex program it is equipped with.

Applications of AI

AI has been dominant in various fields such as −

  • Gaming − AI plays crucial role in strategic games such as chess, poker, tic-tac-toe, etc., where machine can think of large number of possible positions based on heuristic knowledge.
  • Natural Language Processing − It is possible to interact with the computer that understands natural language spoken by humans.
  • Expert Systems − There are some applications which integrate machine, software, and special information to impart reasoning and advising. They provide explanation and advice to the users.
  • Vision Systems − These systems understand, interpret, and comprehend visual input on the computer. For example,
    :- A spying aeroplane takes photographs, which are used to figure out spatial information or map of the areas.
    :- Doctors use clinical expert system to diagnose the patient.
    :- Police use computer software that can recognize the face of criminal with the stored portrait made by forensic artist.
  • Speech Recognition − Some intelligent systems are capable of hearing and comprehending the language in terms of sentences and their meanings while a human talk to it. It can handle different accents, slang words, noise in the background, change in human’s noise due to cold, etc.
  • Handwriting Recognition − The handwriting recognition software reads the text written on paper by a pen or on screen by a stylus. It can recognize the shapes of the letters and convert it into editable text.
  • Intelligent Robots − Robots are able to perform the tasks given by a human. They have sensors to detect physical data from the real world such as light, heat, temperature, movement, sound, bump, and pressure. They have efficient processors, multiple sensors and huge memory, to exhibit intelligence. In addition, they are capable of learning from their mistakes and they can adapt to the new environment.


The ability of a system to calculate, reason, perceive relationships and analogies, learn from experience, store and retrieve information from memory, solve problems, comprehend complex ideas, use natural language fluently, classify, generalize, and adapt new situations.

Intelligence is composed of:-
Reasoning − It is the set of processes that enables us to provide basis for judgement, making decisions, and prediction.
Learning − It is the activity of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something. Learning enhances the awareness of the subjects of the study.
Problem Solving − It is the process in which one perceives and tries to arrive at a desired solution from a present situation by taking some path, which is blocked by known or unknown hurdles. Problem solving also includes decision making, which is the process of selecting the best suitable alternative out of multiple alternatives to reach the desired goal are available.
Perception − It is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. Perception presumes sensing. In humans, perception is aided by sensory organs. In the domain of AI, perception mechanism puts the data acquired by the sensors together in a meaningful manner.
Linguistic Intelligence − It is one’s ability to use, comprehend, speak, and write the verbal and written language. It is important in interpersonal communication.

Categories of AI

Different types of AI have emerged to assist other artificial intelligence systems to work smarter. Different categories of Artificial Intelligence are: –

Reactive Machines AI: The fundamental types of artificial intelligence systems are quite reactive and they are not able to use previous experiences to advise current decisions and to configure memories. IBM’s chess-playing computer called Deep Blue, defeated Garry Kasparov who is an international grand-master in chess in the late 1990s, is one example of this type of machine. In the same way, Google’s AlphaGo, defeated the top human Go experts but it can’t assess all the future moves. Its testing method is more enlightened than Deep Blue’s by using a neural network to assess the game developments.
Limited Memory AI: Limited memory AI is mostly used in self-driving cars. They will detect the movement of vehicles around them constantly. The static data such as lane marks, traffic lights and any curves in the road will be added to the AI machine. This helps autonomous cars to avoid getting hit by a nearby vehicle. Nearly, it will take 100 seconds for an AI system to make considered decisions in self-driving.
Theory of Mind AI: Theory of mind artificial intelligence is a very advanced technology. In terms of psychology, the theory of mind represents the understanding of people and things in the world that can have emotions which alter their own behaviour. Still, this type of AI has not been developed completely in the society. But research shows that the way to make advancements is to begin by developing robots that are able to identify eye and face movements and act according to the looks.
Self-aware AI: Self-aware AI is a supplement of the theory of mind AI. This type of AI is not developed yet, but when it happens, it can configure representations about themselves. It means particular devices are tuned into cues from humans like attention spans, emotions and also able to display self-driven reactions.
• Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI): ANI is the most common technology that can be found in many aspects of our daily life. We can find this in smartphones like Cortana and Siri that help users to respond to their problems on request. This type of artificial intelligence is referred to as ‘weak AI’. Because it is not strong enough as we need it to be.
• Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): This type of artificial intelligence systems works like humans and is called as ‘Strong AI’. Most of the robots are ANI, but few are AGI or above. Pillo Robot, is an example of AGI which answers to all questions with respect to the health of the family. It can distribute pills and give guidance about their health. This is a powerful technology which is necessary for living with a full-time live-in doctor.
• Artificial Superhuman Intelligence (ASI): This type of AI has the ability to achieve everything that a human can do and more. Alpha 2 is the first humanoid robot developed for the family. This robot is capable of managing a smart home and can operate the things in your home. It will notify you of the weather conditions and tells you interesting stories too. It is really a high-powered robot which you feel like is a member of your family.