Narrow Artificial Intelligence (Narrow AI)

What Does Narrow Artificial Intelligence (Narrow AI) Mean?

Narrow artificial intelligence (narrow AI) is a specific type of artificial intelligence in which a learning algorithm is designed to perform a single task, and any knowledge gained from performing that task will not automatically be applied to other tasks.


Unlike general artificial intelligence, which seeks to mimic complex thought processes, narrow AI is designed to successfully complete a single task without human assistance. Popular applications for narrow AI include language translation and image recognition.

Most AI applications in use today can be categorized as being narrow AI. Narrow AI may also be referred to as weak AI.

Techopedia Explains Narrow Artificial Intelligence (Narrow AI)

Narrow AI supports many commercial applications, including recommendation engines. As learning algorithms become deeper, the applications of narrow AI are also becoming more layered.

There is still a lot of debate over how well computers will ever be able to achieve general artificial intelligence, given the complexity of the human brain and the current difficulty that data scientists and ML engineers have creating self-supervised machine learning algorithms.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.