Elena' s AI Blog

Narrow AI, General AI, Superintelligence, and The Real Intelligence

21 Jun 2024 / 10 minutes to read

Elena Daehnhardt

Midjourney 6.0, June 2024: superintelligence
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In this post, I discuss the main AI types and share my understanding of the possibility of general intelligence in the future.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, but what does it entail? Let’s explore the different types of AI, their capabilities, and their potential impact on our lives.

AI types

Narrow AI (Weak AI)

Narrow AI, also known as Weak AI, is today’s most common type of AI. It usually performs specific tasks within a limited domain. These systems excel at their designated functions but lack the broader cognitive abilities of humans.

The most of AI applications and tools we have today are examples of Narrow AI:

  • Image recognition software: Identifies objects and people in images.
  • Spam filters: Automatically classify emails as spam or not spam.
  • Robotics: Programming robots for specific manufacturing, logistics, and surgery tasks.
  • Game Playing: AI agents competing at the highest level in games like chess and Go.
  • Recommendation engines: Suggest products or content based on user preferences.
  • Self-driving cars: Navigate roads and make driving decisions.
  • Financial trading: Predicting stock markets and making automated trading.
  • Large Language Models: Process and generate human-like text in response to a wide range of prompts and questions, summarise and translate human text, converse with humans and answer questions based on the knowledge base.

In-love with the chatbot discusses AI companions, chatbots and a danger zone in LLMs applications.

Please note that although Large Language Models (LLMs) such as chatGPT and Google Gemini can perform impressive feats in language generation and comprehension, they are still considered Narrow AI. This means that they are specialized in specific tasks and lack the broad cognitive abilities of humans, such as general reasoning, common sense, and consciousness. LLMs operate based on patterns they have learned from the data they were trained on and need help understanding the meaning behind the words they process.

LLMs represent a significant advancement in AI, but they are still far from achieving the level of General AI or Strong AI, which would possess human-like intelligence across a wide range of domains.

General AI (Strong AI)

General AI, or Strong AI or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), is a hypothetical type of AI with human-level intelligence across various domains. It can understand, learn, and apply knowledge similarly to humans. While General AI remains a theoretical concept, its development is a significant goal in AI research.

Potential Capabilities of General AI:

  • Problem-solving: Tackle complex problems and find innovative solutions.
  • Natural language understanding: Comprehend and respond to human language meaningfully.
  • Creativity: Generate original ideas and artistic expressions.
  • Reasoning: Draw logical conclusions and make informed decisions.
  • Learning from own and other experiences (for instance, from videos or stories): Learns from experiences and builds strategies in similar situations.

In my post about the ARC-AGI benchmark, I share my honest opinion about the possibility of AGI soon. However, I write primarily about the incredible Kaggle competition, which you can join to study AGI further while coding and having fun, potentially getting a good prize for your efforts.

While a true AGI has yet to be developed, some argue that specific AI systems exhibit characteristics associated with AGI, albeit in limited domains. These include:

  • Deep Reinforcement Learning: AI agents learn complex strategies through trial and error in simulated environments, like OpenAI Five’s mastery of Dota 2.
  • Generative AI: Systems like chatGPT generate realistic human-quality text but still need proper understanding and reasoning.
  • Multimodal Learning: AI systems process and understand information from various sources, such as text, images, and audio, progressing in areas like question answering.


Superintelligence is a hypothetical type of AI that surpasses human intelligence in virtually every aspect. It would possess cognitive abilities far beyond our own, potentially leading to transformative changes in our world. While the development of superintelligence is uncertain, its potential impact has been a subject of much debate.

Potential Implications of Superintelligence:

  • Scientific breakthroughs: Accelerate research and development in various fields.
  • Economic disruption: Automate jobs and transform industries.
  • Existential risks: Pose potential threats to humanity if not controlled.

In my previous post Living with AI in Pursuit of Happiness, I share my opinion on the implications of evolved superintelligence. Indeed, all these risks and impacts will be challenging. Still, they also enable benefits for humanity, such as living that fosters human well-being, curing dangerous diseases, focusing on creativity and happiness, and technological advancement. Just think about the evolution of manufacturing, which was initially challenging, but it has brought some goodness to our lives.

The Internet and all the devices you use were only possible with the Industrial Revolution and the efforts of previous generations. AI will provide a toolset to improve our lives further. Should we worry about its consequences? We should work on many aspects and refrain from delegating our responsibility.

You can also check my related post on robotics and the current research issues explored in Robots and True Love.

A few remarks on superintelligence

AGI leading to superintelligence

In short, AGI could understand and learn any intellectual task a human can, not just specific ones. It could adapt to new situations, solve problems independently, and even have its own thoughts and feelings. This level of AI is still theoretical and far from being achieved, although research is steadily progressing.

Moreover, if AGI exists, it could surpass human intelligence in all aspects, becoming Artificial Superintelligence. Superintelligence carries potential risks, so careful consideration and ethical development are crucial if we ever reach this stage.

Beyond human abilities

Eventually, superintelligence will go beyond human reasoning abilities. It would excel in more than one area, like playing chess or recognizing images. It would possess generalized intelligence, potentially capable of understanding, learning, and reasoning at a level far exceeding any human.

This has unpredictable potential and profound implications. It could bring unimaginable benefits, like solving complex problems or accelerating scientific progress. However, it also raises serious concerns about possible risks and unintended consequences.

Many questions still need to be answered. Could we control such an AI? Would it have goals and desires similar to humans? Would it see us as allies or threats?

It is essential to be prepared for AI development, to create safe and reliable AI, and to improve our lives.

We must also be prepared when considering ethical issues, potential risks, and philosophical questions about humanity’s future.

Why do we need superintelligence?

It is simple. We need to have superintelligence for human survival. There is a non-zero possibility that the Earth cannot come, not be habitual, or will be destroyed in a cosmic event. Humans do not survive super-long space explorations, while superintelligence could. Only the superintelligence that is capable of making critical life decisions and is inventive enough could allow the human race a second chance at survival :)

Indeed, it sounds like a science function. But everything you can imagine is possible or will become feasible.

The Real Intelligence

To create AGI beyond automation and content generation, such as in LLMs, we need to stop “reinventing the wheel.” It would also be helpful to delve deeper into understanding the human brain to comprehend how intelligence and creativity develop. Only when we truly understand what constitutes the real human intelligence and how it functions in nature can we start modelling and improving it in AI.

What do you think? Would it be brilliant?


AI is a rapidly evolving field with the potential to revolutionize our lives. Understanding the different types of AI and their capabilities is crucial for navigating the future of technology. While Narrow AI is already prevalent, the development of General AI and Superintelligence remains uncertain, but their potential impact is undeniable. As we continue to explore the possibilities of AI, it is essential to consider both the benefits and the risks associated with this transformative technology.

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Did you like this post? Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Posts about AI that might be interesting for you


1. Recommender Systems

2. In-love with the chatbot

3. ARC-AGI benchmark and a hefty prize

4. OpenAI Five defeats Dota 2 world champions

5. Living with AI in Pursuit of Happiness

6. Robots and True Love

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About Elena

Elena, a PhD in Computer Science, simplifies AI concepts and helps you use machine learning.

Elena Daehnhardt. (2024) 'Narrow AI, General AI, Superintelligence, and The Real Intelligence', daehnhardt.com, 21 June 2024. Available at: https://daehnhardt.com/blog/2024/06/21/ai-types/
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