7 Types of AI: the Ultimate Guide

Komal Ahuja
June 12, 2023
min read
November 2, 2023
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Explore the different types of AI, their mind-blowing applications and how artificial intelligence is shaping our future.
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AI has rapidly emerged as a transformative technology, reshaping how we live and work. In this blog, we'll discuss an overview of the seven types of AI and their potential applications.

Whether you're new to AI or looking to enhance your understanding, read on to learn more about AI's exciting possibilities.


  • AI is revolutionizing various industries, increasing efficiency and productivity, and boosting customer experience and revenue.
  • There are seven types of AI. We divided them into two categories: functionalities and capabilities.
  • Functionality-based AI includes reactive machines, limited memory machines, theory of mind AI, and self-aware AI.
  • Capability-based AI includes artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), artificial general intelligence (AGI) and artificial super intelligence (ASI).

AI applications in business today

Many industries are actively using AI applications to enhance their operations. Here are just a few examples:

  • Chatbots.
  • Virtual assistants.
  • Automatic vehicles.
  • Robotics.
  • Voice search.
  • Facial recognition tools.

Let's dive into the different types of AI and how they're being integrated into businesses.

7 types of artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence can be divided into two categories—functionality and capability. 

AI types: functionality 

Functionality refers to how an AI technology uses its learning and observational capabilities to train on data, respond to input and interact with its environment.

Functional AI can be further broken down into four types: 

1. Reactive Machines

Reactive machines are the most basic type of AI system. They involve machines that can't store memory or learn from past experiences to shape future decisions.

Reactive machines can't interact with the world. They deliver the same output for every input. Plus, they can only respond to limited sets or prompts. Some examples include:

  • The most classic example of a reactive machine is Deep Blue. Created by IBM in the 1990s, Deep Blue is a chess-playing supercomputer that defeated one of the best international chess players, Garry Kasparov, in 1997.

2. Limited Memory Machines

A limited memory machine has the features of reactive machines, but it also uses knowledge from previous and present data and real-life events.

Limited memory machines get smarter as they get more information to analyze. But the data is only saved for a limited time. 

Nearly all current AI applications, from chatbots to virtual assistants, fall under limited memory machines.

These applications are trained by large data sets stored in their memory for solving future issues. Here are three examples:

  • Image recognition AI tools are trained by scanning and indexing images and their related information to understand the content.
  • Chatbots use an AI technique called natural language processing (NLP) to respond to inquiries with the correct information without human interference.
💡 How to Enhance the Customer Experience with AI (2023)
  • Autonomous trucks and self-driving cars use to observe how other cars move around them—their speed, direction, and distance—and use this data to make smarter decisions.

3. Theory of Mind AI

Theory of mind is an advanced AI technique being developed to better understand humans by interpreting their needs, sentiments, beliefs, and thoughts to interact socially.

Theory of mind machines can analyze human commands to understand the essential communication and interaction rules. 

While a few machines mimic human behavior, none are at the stage where they can perform human-like conversations.

Even the world’s most advanced robot, Ameca, doesn’t sound or behave like a human. This future artificial intelligence type still has a ways to go when learning about human emotional patterns.

You may have heard of these two popular robots, which also use theory of mind AI.

Kismet: Created by Professor Cynthia Breazeal in 2000, Kismet has the ability to recognize and mimic human emotions with its face, which has features like eyes, ears, lips, eyebrows and eyelids. 

Sophia: Sophia is a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics in 2016. This advanced human-like robot is known for its human-like qualities and ability to identify and respond to interactions with human facial emotions. Sophia can also make eye contact and recognize faces.

4. Self-aware AI

Self-aware AI is a future AI technology involving machines that can not only understand human emotions and needs but also have their own emotions, beliefs, desires, and thoughts. 

Self-aware AI only exists hypothetically but is the most widely known type of advanced AI. In addition to having the capabilities of the theory of mind AI, it can store past data and will have self-guided judgments, thoughts, sentiments, and reactions.

Self-aware AI has made it big in Hollywood. M3gan, the self-aware robot from the movie of the same name, is a great example. Not only can she understand the emotions of people around her and have her own sentiments, but she can also socially interact with others. 

AI types: Capability 

Capability refers to how AI systems can learn, adapt, and apply their knowledge in different scenarios. These are classified into three types:

1. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

Also known as weak AI, this is one of the most common types of artificial intelligence. It can perform only a narrowly defined operation or set of functions at the same time.

Narrow AI often performs tasks using machine learning and deep neural networks. It can't learn and adapt beyond its programming and design. This limitation also makes it similar to reactive and limited-memory AI. 

Many of the AI-based systems developed to date use narrow AI:

  • Chatbots.
  • Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri.
  • Email spam filters.
  • Product recommendation engines.
  • Image, speech, and facial recognition tools. 
  • Recommendation engines used by Netflix or Amazon.

ChatGPT is the most popular form of ANI that has taken the internet by storm. This language-based AI system understands and responds to user prompts in a natural and conversational way.

ChatGPT has been trained on a wealth of data to generate human-like answers in response to user queries or statements. Businesses in many industries are creating applications built on ANI, including healthcare, marketing, and customer service. 

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2. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Artificial General Intelligence, also referred to as strong AI, is the next evolution of artificial intelligence. These AI machines can learn, understand, interpret external information, and function like humans. They will have human-like emotional intelligence, enabling them to learn and adapt to new environments and situations, solve issues, and perform tasks requiring reasoning, planning, and decision-making.

Unlike narrow AI, AGI will be able to understand human brain processes and apply knowledge and skills for informed decisions in different situations. 

There are no prototypes or examples of AGI as it is still in the early stages of development. And since these machines will be more intelligent than humans, many scientists, including Stephen Hawking, consider them a threat to humanity. 

3. Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

ASI is the stage of artificial intelligence that can surpass human intelligence in all aspects. In addition to replicating human behavior, it will be able to understand, think, and apply its judgment to complex scenarios in a conscious way.

The future of AI is promising

As investment in research and training increases, we expect AI to become more sophisticated and capable of performing complex tasks.

From healthcare to hospitality, education or IT, AI is revolutionizing the business landscape like never before. It's enabling industries to increase efficiency and productivity and boost customer experience and revenue. 

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