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It is usually intriguing to conceptualize the theories behind smart machines that constitute what we know as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Having machines execute tasks on their own is something that demands special attention that needs to be understood properly. Different classes of machines that operate in the AI ecosystem do so under some particular set of instructions. This post will help us in understanding the three different types of AI that exist today.

Every machine in the world of smart technologies is based on a given philosophy. It is the philosophy that determines what kind of instructions are fed into the machine’s operating system. The same philosophy determines how these instructions are executed. 

Based on the types of philosophy that exist today in the machine world, we now have three distinct types of Artificial intelligence (AI). So now, let’s go into detail in understanding the three different types of AI.

Reactive Machines

This category is comprised of machines that do not look back at all. By not looking back at all, we mean that these group of machines cannot form memories. They do not function based on past experiences.

Reactive machines are absolutely responsive to the current situation. The much talked about IBM chess-playing supercomputer, Deep Blue, remains a perfect example of this group of machines. They are Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines that act based on the prevailing circumstances. As the name “reactive machines” implies, they are reactive in nature based on some external influence.

In the late 1990s chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov was defeated by Deep Blue.

Limited Memory

In this category, we have what we regard as the experienced machines. These ones have a memory, they can remember. Their actions are dependent on past experiences of what the machines have been involved in.

Self-driving cars use this AI philosophy to execute tasks. Before they can begin to carry out tasks, these limited memory machines usually study the environment within which they will be operating. Lane markings, other car identification, relative speed and direction need to be fed into the memory of a self-driving car. That is the only way that it will be able to execute tasks on the road effectively. This type of Artificial Intelligent (AI) is regarded as Limited Memory.

Theory of Mind

This type of AI steps up the game a notch higher. It goes beyond the level of basic programming to venture into understanding human emotions, thoughts and beliefs. This category of machines tend towards social interactions with human beings.

At the moment, the full essence of these kind of machines have not been brought into existence. However, some advanced work has been put into them in the expectation of a full expression in the future.


What remained an idea and in preliminary development until the last couple of years seems set to be on the verge of redefining how humans exist and interact. Already in existence are AI robots, Microsoft AI, Google machine learning algorithms and many other AI elements. In the near future, many tasks that are being executed by humans will be taken over by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The technology is already here with us, and while still in the evolving stages, implementation is already underway. In many areas, we have seen the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Simple assistants on websites that can chat with you and help to resolve any issues are elements of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Those are actually some of the very basic aspects of the emerging technology.

Other types of AI that we are likely to see in the future include Self-awareness, Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and Artificial Superhuman Intelligence (AGI). Otherwise, the description above is a general attempt towards understanding the three different types of AI.