Types of AI: weak vs. strong

There are two main types of artificial intelligence:

  1. Weak AI: Also known as Narrow AI, this type of AI is specialized in performing a specific task. Unlike general or strong AI, narrow AI doesn't possess reasoning abilities beyond its specific function.
    One of the first, most famous examples of weak AI is Deep Blue, a computer created by IBM that beat World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov in a 6-game match in 1997.
    Today, weak AI includes various apps, generative AI tools, and advanced chatbots that could pass the Turing test, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT large language model, recommendation systems on online platforms like Netflix or Amazon, and virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa.
    These systems operate based on a predefined set of rules and don't have the understanding or consciousness that a human possesses.
  2. Strong AI: Made up of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), strong AI has the ability to perform any intellectual task that a human can do.
    It would be able to understand, learn, and apply knowledge in different domains, reason through problems, possess consciousness and emotions, and even potentially outperform humans in tasks that require complex problem-solving, artistic creativity, or social intelligence.
    However, this form of AI remains theoretical, and its creation would represent a monumental technological achievement.


How is Artificial Intelligence trained?

Training AI systems is fundamental to their performance and can achieve incredible accuracy through deep neural networks. Here's a deeper look:

  • Supervised Learning: This is akin to a teacher-student scenario. The algorithm is provided with labeled data. Think of this as a quiz where the answers are also given. Over time, the system learns the patterns and can solve similar quizzes on its own.
  • Unsupervised Learning: Here, the algorithm is given data and left to find structures and patterns on its own. It's like giving a puzzle to a student without showing them the final picture.
  • Reinforcement Learning: This is learning by doing. An agent, say a robot, is placed in an environment where it learns by taking certain actions and receiving rewards or penalties in return.


Deep learning vs. Machine learning

Deep learning and machine learning are two closely related fields within the broader realm of artificial intelligence, but they differ in their approach and capabilities. What are their differences?

Machine learning (ML): With machine learning, a computer program is provided with a large training data set that allows machines to make informed decisions based on the learned insights, plus adapt in response to new data and experiences to improve their efficacy over time. It's akin to teaching computers to learn from experience.

Deep learning takes inspiration from the functioning of the human brain. It uses neural networks with many layers (hence “deep”). Each layer processes the input data, passes the refined information to the next layer, and so forth. For instance, in image recognition, initial layers might recognize colors, the next layers identify shapes by combining colors, and even further layers might recognize complex structures by combining shapes.


How does AI work?

There are multiple stages in developing and deploying machine learning models. At its core, AI technology operates by combining large amounts of data with iterative, intelligent algorithms, allowing the software to learn automatically from patterns in the data.

Modern AI computer programs can process vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and make predictions or decisions without human intervention. For instance, after analyzing thousands of cat photos, an AI system can recognize and differentiate a cat from another animal in a new photo.


Why is AI important?

The importance of AI lies in its ability to handle and analyze vast amounts of data far more efficiently than humans. With digital transformation, the amount of data generated daily is enormous.

AI systems can process this data, providing insights that were previously impossible or very time-consuming to obtain. Moreover, AI can adapt through progressive learning algorithms. This means the more data AI systems are exposed to, the better they become.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence?


  • Efficiency: AI systems, opposite to any human being, can operate without rest and don't get fatigued, ensuring consistent performance.
  • Data analysis: With their ability to process vast amounts of real-time data, AI solutions provide insights that can drive business strategies.
  • Automation: AI can automate a plethora of workflows, enhancing productivity. For example, AI can help automate aspects of cybersecurity by continuously monitoring and analyzing network traffic.


  • Costs: Developing and implementing AI can be expensive.
  • Job displacement: There's a growing concern that AI might replace certain jobs, leading to unemployment.
  • Ethical concerns: AI systems can sometimes act in ways that are unpredictable, leading to unforeseen consequences.


How is AI used today?

Today, AI applications vary and permeate every industry. Here are some of the most common real-world use cases:

  • Healthcare: AI assists in diagnosis, personalized treatment, and patient management.
  • Finance: AI algorithms make smart predictions in terms of financial forecasting and can detect fraudulent transactions, improving decision-making.
  • E-commerce: AI powers recommendation systems, speech recognition using natural language processing (NLP), and more, enhancing user experience. AI is also being used to predict demand for different products in different timeframes, so that organizations can manage their supply chain to meet the demand.
  • Transportation: Self-driving cars, with the help of computer vision, are becoming a reality, thanks to AI.
  • Entertainment: Platforms like Netflix use AI to recommend content to users.
  • Social media: AI is used extensively in social media platforms to enhance user experiences, improve content recommendations, and streamline various processes.


More than a buzzword

Artificial Intelligence is not just a buzzword or a science fiction concept; from autonomous vehicles to voice assistants, AI is a transformative technology that continues to advance and improve with breakthroughs, its various AI uses reshaping industries, enhancing productivity, and offering unprecedented capabilities that were once deemed impossible.

Learn more about AI and machine learning in the Sitecore Knowledge Center.