Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Narrow artificial intelligence (narrow AI) is a specific type of artificial intelligence in which a technology outperforms humans in some very narrowly defined task. Unlike general artificial intelligence, narrow artificial intelligence focuses on a single subset of cognitive abilities and advances in that spectrum.
In the history of AI, narrow artificial intelligence emerged far earlier than other types of artificial intelligence. One could argue that even some of the very first primitive computer systems outperformed humans in certain types of calculations and quantifying tasks – so there is a case to be made that those technologies constituted a form of narrow artificial intelligence.
These days, examples of narrow artificial intelligence abound. Computers have been able to surpass humans in the playing of complex games like chess, making intelligent business decisions and in other types of useful and prominent tasks. With that in mind, the technology community is progressing toward the evolution of more broad and general artificial intelligence systems. Narrow artificial intelligence was an easier target, and there is still a lot of debate over how well computers will ever be able to excel in general artificial intelligence, given the complexity of the human brain. However, phenomena such as natural language processing advancements that allow computers to write effective news stories and fiction novels are coming closer to humans' ideas of what would constitute a much more general strong artificial intelligence model.