Understanding the Various Type of Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence

Type of Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a very important part of our lives, literally changing the way we interact with technology and the world around us. It’s a constantly evolving field that presents us with exciting opportunities and challenges. A fundamental aspect of AI is knowledge, which serves as the foundation upon which intelligent systems operate.

In this blog, we will delve into the different types of knowledge in AI, each playing a great role in shaping the future of this dynamic field.

Type of Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence

Explicit Knowledge

It is one of the types of Knowledge in AI that can be easily documented, codified, and transferred. It is the foundation upon which many AI systems are built. This knowledge can be stored in databases, documents, or structured data.

For example, explicit knowledge might include mathematical formulas, coding languages, and structured datasets. When AI systems use explicit knowledge, they follow predefined rules and algorithms to process data and make decisions. This type of knowledge is essential for applications like data analysis, natural language processing, and image recognition.

Example – In healthcare, explicit knowledge can be found in medical textbooks, clinical guidelines, and databases of patient records. Artificial Intelligence systems can leverage this knowledge to assist in diagnosing diseases, suggesting treatment plans, or predicting patient outcomes.

Tacit Knowledge

While explicit knowledge can be easily shared and transferred, tacit knowledge is more challenging to articulate and document. It is deeply rooted in personal experiences, intuition, and an individual’s ability to make judgments and decisions. Tacit knowledge often plays a crucial role in human intelligence, and Artificial Intelligence researchers are continually working on ways to capture and utilize it in AI systems.

Example – When a seasoned surgeon makes split-second decisions during a complex surgery, much of their expertise is based on tacit knowledge. Artificial Intelligence systems are being developed to learn from these experts and replicate their decision-making processes.

Procedural Knowledge

It refers to knowing how to do something or perform a specific task. It involves a sequence of steps or actions. AI systems that rely on procedural knowledge can follow predefined processes and algorithms to complete tasks. This type of knowledge is prevalent in robotics and automation, where machines are designed to carry out precise actions.

Example – In industrial automation, robots rely on procedural knowledge to assemble products, weld parts, or perform quality control checks. They follow predefined procedures to complete these tasks efficiently and accurately.

Declarative Knowledge

Declarative knowledge is the kind of knowledge which solely focuses on stating facts or information without specifying how that knowledge is applied. In AI, declarative knowledge is often used to store information about the world, which can be later utilized by reasoning systems to draw conclusions or make predictions.

Example – Knowledge bases in AI store declarative knowledge about various domains. For instance, a knowledge base might contain information about geography, historical events, or scientific facts. AI systems can access this knowledge to answer questions or solve problems.

Domain Knowledge

Domain knowledge refers to expertise in a specific field or subject matter. In AI, having domain knowledge is crucial for understanding and interpreting data in a particular context. For example, in medical AI, having domain knowledge of anatomy, diseases, and medical procedures is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Example – In the legal sector, AI systems with domain knowledge of law can assist in contract analysis, legal research, and even predicting the result of legal cases by looking at the historical data and precedents.

Heuristic Knowledge

Heuristic knowledge involves using experience and rules of thumb to solve problems and make decisions. It’s often used when dealing with complex, uncertain, or ambiguous situations. Heuristic knowledge is a fundamental part of AI, especially in areas like game playing and search algorithms.

Example – AI systems that play chess or Go often employ heuristic knowledge to evaluate board positions and make decisions about their next moves. They use heuristics to estimate which moves are likely to lead to a winning position.


Meta-knowledge is knowledge about knowledge. It involves understanding how different pieces of information relate to each other, and it’s crucial for tasks like information retrieval, knowledge representation, and improving the efficiency of AI systems.

Example – In a recommendation system, meta-knowledge can be used to understand how user preferences and historical data relate to each other. By analyzing these connections, the AI system can provide more accurate and personalized recommendations.

Common Sense Knowledge

Common sense knowledge is a type of knowledge that humans often take for granted, but it’s incredibly challenging for AI systems to acquire. It involves understanding the everyday principles and concepts that guide human behavior and reasoning.

Example – Understanding that water is wet, that objects fall when dropped, or that a cup can contain a liquid are all examples of common sense knowledge. AI systems struggle to grasp these concepts, which can make certain tasks, like natural language understanding, quite challenging.

Structural Knowledge

Structural knowledge pertains to the relationships between different pieces of information or concepts. It involves understanding how elements are connected or organized in a system. In AI, structural knowledge is vital for tasks like knowledge graph construction and semantic web development.

Example – In a knowledge graph, structural knowledge represents how different entities, such as people, places, or concepts, are related. This enables AI systems to make inferences and answer complex questions by navigating the graph’s structure.

Meta-Learning Knowledge

Meta-learning knowledge is a type of knowledge that focuses on how AI systems can learn more effectively and adapt to new tasks. It involves understanding the strategies and approaches that can enhance an AI system’s learning capabilities.

Example – In the field of reinforcement learning, meta-learning knowledge can help AI agents adapt to new environments and tasks more quickly. They can learn to learn, improving their performance and adaptability.


Knowledge Representation Techniques in AI

In artificial intelligence, knowledge representation techniques are pivotal in storing, organizing, and utilizing knowledge. These techniques provide the framework for AI systems to capture, interpret, and use different types of knowledge effectively. There are various knowledge representation approaches employed in Artificial Intelligence, and each has its advantages and limitations:

Semantic Networks

Semantic networks use nodes and links to represent knowledge, where nodes correspond to concepts or entities, and links indicate the relationships between them. This approach is useful for capturing structured knowledge and relationships between concepts. For instance, in a medical AI system, nodes might represent diseases, symptoms, and treatments, with links denoting associations like “causes” or “treats.”


Frames are a knowledge representation technique that structures information into a set of attributes or properties for a given object or concept. Each attribute includes a set of values or possible states. Frames are particularly suitable for representing structured and hierarchical knowledge. For example, a “car” frame might have attributes like “colour,” “model,” and “engine type,” each with associated values.


Ontologies are formal representations of knowledge that specify concepts, their attributes, and the relationships between them. They provide a standardized way to describe domains, making it easier for Artificial Intelligence systems to understand and reason about knowledge across different contexts. The Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) are commonly used for building ontologies in Artificial Intelligence.

Rule-Based Systems

Rule-based systems use a set of rules or logical statements to represent knowledge. These rules dictate how Artificial Intelligence systems should make decisions or draw inferences based on available information. For example, a rule-based Artificial Intelligence system for diagnosing diseases might have rules like “if the patient has a fever and a sore throat, then it might be strep throat.”

Knowledge Graphs

Knowledge graphs are a graphical representation of knowledge that captures entities, relationships, and attributes. They are highly suitable for representing knowledge with complex interconnections. Knowledge graphs have gained popularity in Artificial Intelligence, especially for applications like search engines and recommendation systems. Google’s Knowledge Graph is an example of a large-scale knowledge graph that enhances search results by providing information about entities, their relationships, and context.

Probabilistic Graphical Models

Probabilistic graphical models, like Bayesian networks and Markov networks, represent knowledge involving uncertainty and probabilities. They are essential in tasks where AI systems need to make decisions or inferences under uncertain conditions. Bayesian networks, for instance, are widely used in medical diagnosis, where they consider the probabilities of different diseases given specific symptoms.

Vector Representations (Word Embeddings)

Vector representations, often used in natural language processing, represent words or concepts as high-dimensional vectors in a continuous space. Techniques like Word2Vec and GloVe are popular for transforming words into dense vector representations. This allows Artificial Intelligence systems to capture semantic relationships between words and concepts. For instance, words with similar meanings have similar vector representations, enabling AI systems to understand context in language.

Hybrid Approaches

Many Artificial Intelligence systems use a combination of the above knowledge representation techniques to capture diverse types of knowledge effectively. These hybrid approaches aim to harness the strengths of various techniques to represent knowledge in a more versatile and context-aware manner.

Final verdict 

In conclusion, knowledge is the bedrock of artificial intelligence. The different types of knowledge, whether explicit or implicit, procedural or declarative, play unique roles in shaping AI systems and their capabilities.

As Artificial Intelligence continues to develop and combine into various aspects of our lives, understanding and harnessing these different types of knowledge are crucial for its advancement and responsible development. Addressing the challenges and exploring new directions in AI knowledge management will lead to more capable, intelligent, and ethical AI systems that can benefit society in numerous ways.