artificial intelligence vs human intelligence
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Artificial Intelligence vs. Human Intelligence - Explained

Mar 6, 2024 5.2K Reads

With Artificial Intelligence impending on almost every other domain of life–be it academics, technological management, planning our calendars to even driving cars for us, the obvious question arises– is there any unique value that human intelligence brings to the table that can sustain the capabilities that AI is rapidly amassing? We ask ourselves, will there come a time when AI will completely replace human intelligence? 

Through this blog, we take a dive into the nature and capabilities of AI and compare it to human intelligence, as well as ponder upon the future of AI and human intelligence. Can we as humans excel beyond AI and its growing power? Is there a future of the human mind and intelligence that will not be outpowered by AI? 

What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)? 

Intelligence has been understood as the ability to understand information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment by correctly using one’s ability to reason. An earlier understanding of intelligence was in terms of the ability of the human mind to act in intelligent ways. 

The roots of AI and machine intelligence can be traced to the works of the pioneer Alan Turing in the 1950s, who worked on developing the Turing Test, that he originally called the “Imitation Game” (for testing the ability of a machine to act intelligently which will not let it be distinguished from human intelligence).  Since then, the understanding about intelligence is not limited to humans but also to machines. 

Artificial Intelligence today, refers to intelligent actions and operations performed by machines. AI, a branch of data science, has been created with the central ability to mimic the human mind and intelligence, and AI developers have tried over the years to develop AI bots and systems that exhibit sophisticated “thinking” and solve problems similar to the strategies used by humans. 

AI systems involve a complex network of hardware and software, fed with extensive training data which is read by the system to identify patterns and process the information to predict future actions, find solutions and produce new information. AI systems are generated by using coding systems like Python, Java, C++ etc. 

Some of the common forms of AI systems that are vastly used around us today include: 

  • AI Chatbots (e.g. ChatGPT)
  • AI Art Tools 
  • Smart Assistance Tools (e.g. Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa etc.) 
  • Navigation and Travel Applications (e.g. Uber, Ola etc.)
  • Face Recognition Systems 
  • Security Surveillance Systems 
  • Self Driving Cars 
  • Smart Homes (Integrated system of AI-driven technologies and electronic home appliances) 
  • AI-driven Social Media Algorithms and Recommendations etc. 

So, AI technologies are much more widespread around us than we realise, and almost in using any technological device/tool, we are indirectly making use of embedded AI-driven softwares. The future of AI is clearer than ever-it is only to grow and expand with a boom in the immediate future ahead of us. 

How is Human Intelligence Unique? 

Given that the purview of AI is rapidly expanding, one is faced with the question– can AI soon replace the human mind and human intelligence? This is a poignant question, and as I am writing this blog, I can’t help but think of how an AI software would be able to produce a 5000 word essay on this very topic within less than 5 minutes. 

What then is it that makes human intelligence different from AI and relevant? It is the fact that human intelligence is not simply a compound system filled with training data about patterns of information. Human intelligence moves much beyond this as it is complex and dynamic– it can not only identify problems, learn from information, situations and experiences, but also actively adapt in novel situations to produce creative and unique solutions. 

Additionally, human intelligence also enables people to communicate with each other, i.e. effectively reach out to other humans. Humans are not just intelligent problem-solvers, they have emotional intelligence and social intelligence, aspects still unique to humans and animals, not mimicked by AI yet. 

Having abstract thinking abilities, ability to learn from implicit information, develop new solutions in unique situations etc. are the characteristic features of human intelligence that make it unique from the intelligence of machines, which is an attempt at reproducing human intelligence. 

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A Comparison: Human Intelligence vs Artificial Intelligence 

Here is a comprehensive comparison of AI and human intelligence, with all the strengths and weaknesses of each being highlighted for a face-off. 


Artificial Intelligence 

Human Intelligence 

Development of Intelligence 

  • AI can only develop intelligent outputs and tendencies through new and updated information being fed into the system. 
  • The development of intelligence in AI is not natural and takes time as the systems need to be updated again and again with new information. 
  • Human intelligence has the inherent ability to develop and learn all the time. 
  • Human intelligence is continuously learning through various new experiences and learning of new information. 

Pace and Speed of Functioning 

  • AI can function very efficiently on a much quicker basis. 
  • Being machine driven, it can operate and perform various complex functions accurately within a span of a few seconds to minutes.  
  • Humans take time to learn and work. 
  • Human intelligence is not as fast and mechanistic, and works to arrive at solutions at a slower pace. 

Ability to Adapt to Unique Situations 

  • AI can arrive at erroneous conclusions and solutions in unique and novel situations. 
  • The problem solving ability of AI can break down or produce inaccurate solutions when it encounters situations for which no training data has been fed to it. 
  • Some AI systems are now being developed with “exploratory” coding that enable it to learn and solve unique problems.   
  • Human intelligence surpasses AI in the domain of solving new and unique problems. 
  • Human intelligence is marked by the ability to adapt to new situations and engage in abstract thinking to develop new and creative solutions to problems never encountered before. 

Learning Ability 

  • Learning in AI systems is dependent on how frequently new information is fed into it. 
  • AI has the capability to acquire knowledge from secondary sources like training data and commands. 
  • Human intelligence, with its memory, cognitive skills, abstraction ability and ability to reason, can learn continuously. 
  • Further, learning by humans is not solely dependent on acquiring knowledge from the external world, it can learn intuitively and through imagination as well. 

Decision-Making Skills 

  • The decision-making by AI is based solely on the information provided to it, and hence AI makes very objective decisions. 
  • AI can make effective and correct decisions for logical, reasoning or mathematical problems. It can make moderately good decisions about predictions. 
  • The decision making of AI may be ineffective for emotional problems. 
  • Human decision-making is often affected by personal biases, intuitions, gaps in knowledge, emotions etc. 
  • Human decision-making is less objective and more subjective, affected by one’s personal experiences in addition to available information. 
  • Human decision-making may be erroneous for logical or complex reasoning problems, but is more effective for social, abstract and emotional problems.   

Emotional Intelligence 

  • Emotional intelligence is one area in which AI is totally adept as of now. 
  • AI, the intelligence exhibited by machines, is not capable of working with human (or even animal) emotions or problems needing emotional understanding.  
  • Human intelligence includes the aspect of emotional intelligence and humans can effectively understand, regulate and communicate their and others’ emotions to each other.
  • Human intelligence beats AI by far in solving problems requiring emotional understanding and consideration. 

Social Intelligence 

  • AI is driven by machine technologies and software coding and hence is not programmed to develop nuanced social understanding.
  • However, some AI programs like chatbots have extensive codes and training data about patterns of human interaction, enabling them to communicate in ways similar to human social interactions. 
  • However, social problem-solving can be quite limited and stunted in AI systems apart from the data and codes that they have been fed with. 
  • Since human beings are inherently social animals, social understanding and social intelligence is in-built in them right from birth. 
  • Human intelligence is in-built with abilities for complex social understanding, social communication and social problem-solving. 
  • As a result, humans have better and much more refined social decision-making abilities, unlike AI. 

Abstraction Ability 

  • AI has very limited, if any, ability to interpret or process abstract information beyond concrete facts and logical reasoning. 
  • Human intelligence has the unique ability to engage in abstract reasoning, i.e. think about less concrete, ambiguous information or develop new and innovative solutions to novel problems. 

Chances of Making Errors

  • Being a machine-driven intelligence, the ability to solve problems, especially computational, reasoning, logical problems etc. is especially efficient in AI. 
  • AI is much less likely to commit errors and deliver nearly perfect solutions consistently. 
  • However, as already mentioned, AI may commit errors when dealing with emotional, social or novel problems.  
  • Being human in nature, human intelligence is far from perfect. 
  • Human intelligence is liable to commit more errors in comparison to AI systems. 
  • However, as compared to AI, human intelligence can develop more unique, creative and innovative solutions, especially to problems requiring social and emotional intelligence. 


  • AI is flexible and adaptive upon being fed and updated with new information and codes to read. 
  • Without such new information or software coding, AI systems have limited ability to learn on their own, and can become backdated very soon. 
  • Human intelligence is highly flexible and adaptive to change, which is one of its unique abilities. 
  • Human intelligence develops and continuously evolves from birth for the entire lifetime. 

Creativity and Innovation 

  • Only specific AI systems and bots have the ability to show some creativity in finding solutions. 
  • Since the solutions by AI are based upon the training data they have been provided with, they have limited ability to produce unique, novel or creative solutions. 
  • Creativity and innovation are two of the central characteristics of human intelligence and the evolution of the human race and its inventions and discoveries.  


  • AI systems are created so that they have extensive knowledge and information about a specific domain. 
  • So, AI systems are often niche-specific (e.g. AI writing tools, AI art tools, AI chatbots etc.) and not so versatile across a diversity of functionalities. 
  • Developing an AI system which is trained in a very large number of diverse areas is tedious and extremely time-consuming, as detailed software codes and training data would need to be fed into the system. 
  • Human intelligence, on the other hand, is virtually limitless and can develop and adapt in a large number of different areas. 
  • Thus, human intelligence has the ability to develop expertise in versatile areas. 


The Future: Will AI Outsmart Human Intelligence? 

We started with a quote which rightly highlighted that AI can help humans realise the role that they play in adding value to any innovation. After a thorough comparison of the differences between AI and human intelligence, it can be said that human intelligence still beats AI when it comes to certain aspects. 

AI is an extremely powerful and impactful creation of technology and surely surpasses some human abilities and functions. However, what helps human intelligence still stand apart and emerge irreplaceable is its very human value that cannot be recreated by machines entirely, even if mimicked in certain aspects. Here we have provided some insights about the possible future of AI and its impacts on human intelligence.

  • Artificial Intelligence is far more speedy and faster than human intelligence since it is machine intelligence. As a result, it is quite possible that AI may reduce the need for manual effort and operation on many tasks, especially those with fixed, concrete or specific set approaches to problem-solving. 
  • AI can change the job roles of humans a lot in the future, with the automation of a large number of job roles, there is an expected shift to job roles requiring more innovation and creativity instead of manual labour and simple calculative efforts.
  • Although AI may be better able to approach problems objectively, it is hardly likely to replace human intelligence due to many of its special abilities which cannot be mimicked by machines– the ability to think emotionally, engage in abstract reasoning, use and tweak past experiences to apply them to unique problems, their social intelligence and so on. 
  • Thus, human intelligence has its own advantages and abilities which cannot be replaced by any software, and there are human qualities in the works of human intelligence which add unique and irreplaceable value to problem solving. 
  • In the context of decision-making, many studies suggest that AI also engages in complex decision-making by carefully scanning available information, and applying various strategies of decision-making. However, it has been shown that AI lacks the ability to make decisions effectively in ambiguous situations, novel and unique situations, situations needing looking ahead (or looking ahead into the future) as well as cases involving emotionally and socially complex decisions. In this regard, AI is far from outsmarting human intelligence.
  • Further, considering the various ethical and legal aspects involved in the creation of AI systems specialising in various areas, it is likely that the utility of AI is to remain limited to certain areas only. 

Courses to Explore in AI

Some of the top online courses related to the field of AI can be explored here:

MBA in Business Intelligence and AI 

MBA in AI and Machine Learning 

MCA in Artificial Intelligence 

MCA in AI and Machine Learning 

BCA in AI and Machine Learning 

Diploma in AI and Machine Learning 


Considering all such factors and the detailed comparison of AI with human intelligence, AI still lacks in some crucial areas of performance, and although it is rapidly improving and becoming more refined, there still remain domains in which human intelligence is much more evolved and irreplaceable. Thus, to conclude, the future is not a face-off or replacement of either by the other, but rather a collaborative integration between artificial intelligence and human intelligence, wherein the strengths and powerful functions of AI get combined with the unique abilities that human intelligence has, to provide the best results across a wide range of areas. 

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

AI is machine intelligence that has been prepared by humans to mimic the pattern of human intelligence and human actions. Artificial Intelligence is prepared by feeding extensive commands and preprogrammed training data in computer software. On the other hand, human intelligence is an inherent capability that the human mind possesses right from birth. Human intelligence can grow through both external experiences and internal mental processes like reasoning, thought, intuition etc. This is not the case with AI, as it does not grow by itself, but needs human intervention to develop and get updated. 

The debate about AI replacing human intelligence has risen in the past few years with advancements and mainstreaming of the use of AI systems. However, both scientists and psychologists agree that AI is not likely to completely replace human intelligence since it does not have human abilities of thinking, emotional reasoning, social interaction, thinking ahead into the future etc.

AI is definitely more functional and evolved in certain domains like objective reasoning, researching and fact skimming, in some cases-problem mathematical-logical problem-solving etc. Moreover, one of the biggest strengths of AI over human intelligence is the speed of working and producing outcomes. However, human intelligence continues to function more efficiently in abstract thinking, emotional and social reasoning, working in ambiguous or unique situations etc. which cannot be emulated by AI.

No, AI systems that have been designed uptil now lack any form of emotional intelligence or ability to use an emotional approach to decision-making for arriving at solutions.

AI is more functional than humans in certain cases such as mathematical calculations, logic and reasoning, fact-hunting at a quicker pace etc. Therefore, it is likely that some job domains, especially those involving manual calculations or manual labour will be replaced by AI as it can perform similar functions at a much faster rate and lower costs. However, the rise of AI is likely to increase job domains for humans in unique areas which require complex thinking, reasoning in ambiguous circumstances, effective abstract thinking, strategization and future-oriented planning etc. 

AI can beat human intelligence in certain specific areas like quick calculation, scavenging for a range of facts and figures, quick research etc. Human intelligence beats AI in areas like abstract thinking, ambiguous thinking, working with novel situations, emotional and social intelligence etc.

Many professionals are worried about the impact that AI can have on their careers. Although ideally one should strive for integrating the strengths and facilities of AI with their job domain, one can take up the following strategies to stay a step ahead from AI developments– focus on finding unique solutions to problems rather than simply mechanically solving problems, ensure you bring innovation to your work, which makes your human input invaluable, and keep on upgrading your professional skills through skill development. 

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