Difference Between Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Intelligence are two distinct concepts that are often compared and contrasted with each other. AI is a rapidly growing field that aims to develop machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and perception. Human intelligence, on the other hand, is the cognitive ability of humans that allows them to understand and interact with the world around them. While AI and human intelligence share some similarities, there are significant differences between the two.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is also sometimes referred to as machine intelligence which was founded as an academic discipline in 1956 which is also the same year when the term “artificial intelligence” was coined by John McCarthy. A conglomeration of sciences such as philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, computer science, and economics is vital in AI research regarding mimicking how humans process information.

Hintze (2016) presents the following four types of AI −

  • Type I – Reactive Machines − This is the most basic type of AI since it is purely reactive and it does not consider past experiences.

  • Type II – Limited Memory − Unlike the reactive machines, type II incorporates past experiences in its function.

  • Type III – Theory of Mind − This type is said to be the “machines of the future” wherein they can understand human emotions and predict how others would think.

  • Type IV – Self-Awareness − As an extension of the theory of mind, AI researchers seek to develop machines which can also form representations of themselves.

What is Human Intelligence?

Human intelligence is characterized by highly complex cognitive processes such as concept- formation, understanding, decision-making, communication, and problem-solving. It is also markedly influenced by subjective factors such as motivation. Human intelligence is commonly measured through IQ tests which typically covers working memory, verbal comprehension, processing speed, and perceptual reasoning.

As intelligence has been defined and viewed in various ways, there have been pertinent theories. Here are some of them −

  • Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (Robert Sternberg) − Intelligence is composed of analysis, creativity, and practicality.

  • Theory of Multiple Intelligence (Howard Gardner) − Each individual usually has a combination of intelligence such as verbal-linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, logical- mathematical, visual-spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Gardner suggested existential intelligence as also viable.

  • PASS Theory − (A.R. Luria) − The four processes of intelligence are planning, attention, simultaneous, and successive.

Differences: Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence

One of the main differences between AI and human intelligence is the way they learn. AI systems use algorithms and data to learn from their environment and improve their performance over time. This process is known as machine learning, and it involves training the system with large amounts of data to identify patterns and make predictions. In contrast, human intelligence is a result of a complex interplay of genes, environment, and experience. Humans are born with a certain level of cognitive ability, but they develop and refine their intelligence through exposure to different experiences, education, and social interactions.

Another significant difference between AI and human intelligence is their ability to adapt to new situations. AI systems are designed to perform specific tasks and are optimized for those tasks. While they can learn to perform new tasks, they still require a significant amount of training and data to do so. In contrast, human intelligence is much more adaptable. Humans can quickly learn and adjust to new situations, even when they have no prior experience with them. They can use their existing knowledge and problem-solving skills to adapt to new challenges, making them more versatile than AI systems.

AI and human intelligence also differ in their creativity and intuition. AI systems can generate new ideas and solutions based on their training data and algorithms, but they lack the creativity and intuition that humans possess. Humans can come up with innovative ideas and solutions that are not based on any existing data or algorithms. They can use their intuition and experience to make connections and solve problems that AI systems would struggle with.

Another important difference between AI and human intelligence is their ability to understand language and context. While AI systems have made significant progress in natural language processing, they still struggle to understand the nuances of human language and the context in which it is used. Humans, on the other hand, are able to understand the meaning behind words and phrases, as well as the social and cultural context in which they are used.

Finally, AI and human intelligence differ in their emotional intelligence. While AI systems can recognize and respond to emotions in humans, they do not possess emotions themselves. Humans, on the other hand, have a complex range of emotions that influence their decision- making and social interactions. Emotional intelligence is an essential aspect of human intelligence, and it allows humans to empathize with others, understand their emotions, and build social relationships.

The following table highlights the major differences between Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence −


Artificial Intelligence

Human Intelligence


AI is an innovation created by human intelligence; its early development is credited to Norbert Weiner who theorized on feedback mechanisms while the father of AI is John McCarthy for coining the term and organizing the first conference on research projects regarding machine intelligence.

Human beings are created with the innate ability to think, reason, recall, etc.


As compared to humans, computers can process more information at a faster rate. For instance, if the human mind can solve a math problem in 5 minutes, AI can solve 10 problems in a minute.

Human mind is slower than AI.

Decision Making

AI is highly objective in decision making as it analyzes based on purely gathered data.

However, humans’ decisions may be influenced by subjective elements which are not based on figures alone.


AI often produces accurate results as it functions based on a set of programmed rules.

As for human intelligence, there is usually a room for “human error” as certain details may be missed at one point or the other.

Energy Used

Modern computers only generally use 2 watts.

The human brain uses about 25 watts


AI takes much more time to adapt to new changes.

Human intelligence can be flexible in response to the changes to its environment. This makes people able to learn and master various skills.


In conclusion, while AI and human intelligence share some similarities, there are significant differences between the two. AI systems can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, but they lack the adaptability, creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence that humans possess.

Human intelligence is a complex interplay of genes, environment, and experience, and it allows humans to understand and interact with the world around them in ways that AI systems cannot replicate. As AI continues to develop, it is important to recognize these differences and understand the unique strengths and limitations of both AI and human intelligence.

Updated on: 25-Apr-2023

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