4 Things Humans Do Better Than AI

Jul 20, 2017

While human beings and AI are both powerful in their own way, humans will always have a timeless edge in a few areas. While AI are extraordinarily powerful machines, the truth still resounds that they were created by human beings. So, what are four things that human beings do better than AI?

Relationships and Empathy

The profound difference between humans and AI is simple: being human. Having the ability to empathize with and connect with another human being gives them an advantage over AI. To empathize with someone is to use intuition: a holistic framework that uses feeling to create reason, logic and understanding. An AI can only simulate empathy, which might make the one being empathized with feel understood. Only another human can understand another human: that is, until the AI who can truly empathize is created. There are various unique aspects to human interactions that an AI can only simulate and not experience. With that experience comes the knowledge, wisdom and intuition that humans possess. Included in what makes humans better at relationships: touch, vulnerability, emotions, and personality.


To come up with a truly innovative idea: humans are better at this than AI. Humans are excellent in creating new connections and using their imagination. While AI can work creatively with pre-existing data, it is human beings who can conjure previously nonexistent data using imagination, intelligence and experience. To always push the envelope and expand into new frontier, that is the spark of human creativity that cannot be simulated (at least, not until a human being creates that technology). Human creativity is responsible for AI itself, and a myriad of other contributions to the world such as music, art, cinema, technology, medicine, weapons and more. To imagine anything not enhanced by human creativity is nearly impossible. While AI was utilized by humans to achieve some of their dreams, it was the spark in the human imagination that started it.

Free Problem Solving

Another area where humans excel more than AI: spontaneous and long-term problem solving without structure. To approach a problem without any rules of how to solve the problem can puzzle an AI, especially if it was not written to deal with such problems. The best way to describe this is to imagine approaching a puzzle with absolutely no hints, instructions or rules provided. Humans would start from somewhere, testing various hypothesis and failing while simultaneously learning how to solve the problem. An AI, unless programmed to constantly test new methods that were previously unwritten, is likely to fall behind the human when it comes to spontaneous problem solving. When these problems are in relation to other humans such as the health sciences, humans do even better. In other words, humans are excellent in adapting and being flexible.

Mundane Physical Work

While manual physical labor is assumed by many to require little to no imagination or intellectual challenge, that is not true. Even basic living requires cognitive functioning in such a way that robots must be programmed extensively to execute ordinary tasks that we have optimized. For example, driving: comparing the first time a human being drives with their more experienced style of driving shows a vast improvement in their cognitive ability to master a task that once completely overwhelmed them. Humans excel in these areas because they require complex attention and mastery of the spatial world. AI would be thwarted by this, in the way humans are thwarted by synthesizing extraordinarily large numbers or manually using web scraping tools. AI may be able to execute these functions after certain programming, but if there is something unexpected thrown in, they lack the creativity and imagination to deal with it.

In the end, humans and AI are connected by whatever human beings lack in scalable skill and determination. What AI excel in are naturally going to be weak points of humans, and vice versa. Humans will always be the masters of: empathy, creativity, problem-solving and spatial mastery.


Author Bio:  Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.