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AI vs. Humans: Which Performs Certain Skills Better?



AI vs. Humans: Which Performs Certain Skills Better?

AI vs. Humans: Which Performs Certain Skills Better?

With ChatGPT’s explosive rise, AI has been making its presence felt for the masses, especially in traditional bastions of human capabilities—reading comprehension, speech recognition and image identification.

In fact, in the chart above it’s clear that AI has surpassed human performance in quite a few areas, and looks set to overtake humans elsewhere.

How Performance Gets Tested

Using data from Contextual AI, we visualize how quickly AI models have started to beat database benchmarks, as well as whether or not they’ve yet reached human levels of skill.

Each database is devised around a certain skill, like handwriting recognition, language understanding, or reading comprehension, while each percentage score contrasts with the following benchmarks:

  • 0% or “maximally performing baseline”
    This is equal to the best-known performance by AI at the time of dataset creation.
  • 100%
    This mark is equal to human performance on the dataset.

By creating a scale between these two points, the progress of AI models on each dataset could be tracked. Each point on a line signifies a best result and as the line trends upwards, AI models get closer and closer to matching human performance.

Below is a table of when AI started matching human performance across all eight skills:

SkillMatched Human
Database Used
Handwriting Recognition2018MNIST
Speech Recognition2017Switchboard
Image Recognition2015ImageNet
Reading Comprehension2018SQuAD 1.1, 2.0
Common Sense
Grade School MathN/AGSK8k
Code GenerationN/AHumanEval

A key observation from the chart is how much progress has been made since 2010. In fact many of these databases—like SQuAD, GLUE, and HellaSwag—didn’t exist before 2015.

In response to benchmarks being rendered obsolete, some of the newer databases are constantly being updated with new and relevant data points. This is why AI models technically haven’t matched human performance in some areas (grade school math and code generation) yet—though they are well on their way.

What’s Led to AI Outperforming Humans?

But what has led to such speedy growth in AI’s abilities in the last few years?

Thanks to revolutions in computing power, data availability, and better algorithms, AI models are faster, have bigger datasets to learn from, and are optimized for efficiency compared to even a decade ago.

This is why headlines routinely talk about AI language models matching or beating human performance on standardized tests. In fact, a key problem for AI developers is that their models keep beating benchmark databases devised to test them, but still somehow fail real world tests.

Since further computing and algorithmic gains are expected in the next few years, this rapid progress is likely to continue. However, the next potential bottleneck to AI’s progress might not be AI itself, but a lack of data for models to train on.

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Charted: What are Retail Investors Interested in Buying in 2023?

What key themes and strategies are retail investors looking at for the rest of 2023? Preview: AI is a popular choice.



A cropped bar chart showing the various options retail investors picked as part of their strategy for the second half of 2023.

Charted: Retail Investors’ Top Picks for 2023

U.S. retail investors, enticed by a brief pause in the interest rate cycle, came roaring back in the early summer. But what are their investment priorities for the second half of 2023?

We visualized the data from Public’s 2023 Retail Investor Report, which surveyed 1,005 retail investors on their platform, asking “which investment strategy or themes are you interested in as part of your overall investment strategy?”

Survey respondents ticked all the options that applied to them, thus their response percentages do not sum to 100%.

Where Are Retail Investors Putting Their Money?

By far the most popular strategy for retail investors is dividend investing with 50% of the respondents selecting it as something they’re interested in.

Dividends can help supplement incomes and come with tax benefits (especially for lower income investors or if the dividend is paid out into a tax-deferred account), and can be a popular choice during more inflationary times.

Investment StrategyPercent of Respondents
Dividend Investing50%
Artificial Intelligence36%
Total Stock Market Index36%
Renewable Energy33%
Big Tech31%
Treasuries (T-Bills)31%
Electric Vehicles 27%
Large Cap26%
Small Cap24%
Emerging Markets23%
Real Estate23%
Gold & Precious Metals23%
Mid Cap19%
Inflation Protection13%

Meanwhile, the hype around AI hasn’t faded, with 36% of the respondents saying they’d be interested in investing in the theme—including juggernaut chipmaker Nvidia. This is tied for second place with Total Stock Market Index investing.

Treasury Bills (30%) represent the safety anchoring of the portfolio but the ongoing climate crisis is also on investors’ minds with Renewable Energy (33%) and EVs (27%) scoring fairly high on the interest list.

Commodities and Inflation-Protection stocks on the other hand have fallen out of favor.

Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party…

Another interesting takeaway pulled from the survey is how conversations about prevailing companies—or the buzz around them—are influencing trades. The platform found that public investors in Mattel increased 6.6 times after the success of the ‘Barbie’ movie.

Bud Light also saw a 1.5x increase in retail investors, despite receiving negative attention from their fans after the company did a beer promotion campaign with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Given the origin story of a large chunk of American retail investors revolves around GameStop and AMC, these insights aren’t new, but they do reveal a persisting trend.

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