Are you smarter than AI?

Solving cube

We’ve seen huge leaps in the capabilities of artificial intelligence this year, as well as huge leaps in adoption.

After its launch on 30 November, ChatGPT reached a million users within 5 days – setting a new bar for how short a time it took a new service to reach this level of use.

It continues to grow rapidly in users and in use cases, despite being quite a limited demonstration of what AI can actually do.

This is beginning to really challenge the question of whether humans are ‘smarter’ than AI, particularly in performing specific tasks such as generating, summarizing or repurposing content.

In my business we work very closely with AI every day. While I would acknowledge that AI is far faster and can be more knowledgeable and more eloquent than humans, it is the hare to humanity’s tortoise.

If you remember the fable, the hare and tortoise had a race, which the hare was expected to win due to its speed. However the hare was easily distracted and over-confident and so the slow but methodical tortoise was able to overtake the far faster hare and win the race.

When it comes to humans vs AIs today, AI is far faster than us at virtually any task it is focused on – whether that be generating artwork, producing content or identifying numeric patterns.

However the AI is also flighty and easily distracted. It doesn’t understand the underlying purpose of the tasks it is carrying out, nor the context of those tasks within an entire workflow.

So while it can perform most tasks really, really quickly, it may deviate from the agreed finish line, or not follow a methodical process to arrive at a workable solution.

As humans we understand why we are performing the task and how it fits into the larger context of our business and goals. We appreciate the other moving parts in the system – be they other people or machines – and work methodically towards the agreed goal.

AI can certainly assist us in reaching these goals faster – adding a burst of speed to specific tasks, or providing draft content and ideas that we can assess within the overall context.

However, AI by itself, as a hare, will almost always be defeated by a tortoise, a human, in winning the race.

So AI definitely has a place in your business today to accelerate and amplify what you regularly do. However AI is unable to understand the entire context or goal of the work it is doing and a human should always be in the loop.

So yes, you are smarter than an AI.

And together humans and AIs are far smarter than either humans or AIs alone.