What is an Artificial Superintelligence?

Artificial superintelligence is the term used to describe machines or beings that are completely superior to humans in several areas. Anyone who is involved in science fiction or transhumanism will have heard or read this term many times. For a machine or being to be considered superior, various criteria and circumstances must be fulfilled. Only then is it considered superintelligent.

Things to know

Machines with particularly high artificial intellect often possess abilities and characteristics that far surpass those of humans. Especially when it comes to creativity, technology or problem solving, the differences quickly become apparent in a direct comparison between an artificial superintelligence and humans.

A distinction is often made between two types of artificial superintelligence, weak or strong. A superintelligence that is stronger possesses above-average abilities at a level that is qualitatively higher than a weak intelligence. In addition, the intellect of the latter is equal to that of humans, but it works faster and more efficiently. Thus, a higher quantity is achieved.

Differences machine vs. human

Our society calls people who are highly gifted superintelligent. Due to their limited abilities, they do not possess the same high competencies and characteristics as machines. Consequently, they do not have the same superintelligence. Search engines that are particularly fast or provide a lot of information are also declared superintelligent, although they only exceed the intelligence of humans in certain areas.

Artificial intelligence

It is often assumed that the increased computing speed of a computer alone represents superintelligence, but this is wrong. A faster function does not constitute artificial superintelligence. Even if stronger and better algorithms are added, this does not change anything. One reason, among others, is that although better end results are achieved by "tuning" components, per se it is not necessarily possible for the artificial intelligence to learn and develop itself further, possibly even to generate its own consciousness, because of the upgrading. At best, depending on the addition of components, the status of a strong artificial intelligence can be achieved. KI be achieved.

Researchers have been working for many decades on the creation of an artificial intelligence that constantly improves itself. So far, however, they have only succeeded in creating a weak AI. It will be some time before a real Commander Data, including a positronic brain network, is created, as he is known from the starship Enterprise. At the moment, the best chance is to try to find the way to an artificial superintelligence via a strong AI, which will practically emerge from it. A strong AI can serve as the basis for the creation of a superintelligence in the future.


With the help of genetic engineering, humans with above-average abilities could theoretically be created, but they would not initially represent a superintelligence. In science fiction, the final result could be the Borg in the Star Trek universe, which act, learn and coordinate with each other with the help of neural connections. They represent a combination of technical and human components that communicate with each other as a unit.