Weak AI – Short Explanation

We do not yet have true AI. While at times, we consider the interactions we are having with our personal assistants – Google, Siri, and Alexa – as true AI, in reality, they are not. At best, they are weak AI programs where they are only simulating a human response through programming.

AI in movies and books is significantly more complex and capable. It is able to think and reason for itself and make decisions based on information and data. We are not yet at this stage of development, although we are progressing towards that goal rapidly.

Within the AI world, AI is generally categorized into two different buckets. Weak AI (also known as narrow AI) is an AI system targeted towards a specific task or objective. This is contrasted by strong AI, which can learn and work through any problem it is presented with.

Weak AI in the Real World

Weak AI is perhaps a bit restrictive and does not really capture the power of AI. Narrow AI is definitely a better descriptor as while devices that use narrow AI are focused on a specific task or element, within that task, they are at times much more capable than we are. For example, IBM’s supercomputer Watson was able to defeat longtime Jeopardy champion, Ken Jennings.

Weak AI in the World of AI

AI is continually developing and changing and has seen a resurgence in scientific interest in the past decade. With the advent of improved computer processing, data lakes and even improved network speeds, the capabilities of AI systems continue to improve and grow. The goal of AI is to build a system that can mimic and replicate the human brain.

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