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Analysis of large-language model versus human performance for genetics questions



Large-language models like ChatGPT have recently received a great deal of attention. One area of interest pertains to how these models could be used in biomedical contexts, including related to human genetics. To assess one facet of this, we compared the performance of ChatGPT versus human respondents (13,642 human responses) in answering 85 multiple-choice questions about aspects of human genetics. Overall, ChatGPT did not perform significantly differently (p = 0.8327) than human respondents; ChatGPT was 68.2% accurate, compared to 66.6% accuracy for human respondents. Both ChatGPT and humans performed better on memorization-type questions versus critical thinking questions (p < 0.0001). When asked the same question multiple times, ChatGPT frequently provided different answers (16% of initial responses), including for both initially correct and incorrect answers, and gave plausible explanations for both correct and incorrect answers. ChatGPT’s performance was impressive, but currently demonstrates significant shortcomings for clinical or other high-stakes use. Addressing these limitations will be important to guide adoption in real-life situations.

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Fig. 1: Summary of ChatGPT’s responses.

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All data used and presented are available in the paper and supplementary files.


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This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health.

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Authors and Affiliations



DD contributed to: formal analysis, investigation, methodology, and writing-review & editing. BDS contributed conceptualization, data curation, formal analysis, funding acquisition, investigation, methodology, and writing-original draft.

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Correspondence to Benjamin D. Solomon.

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Competing interests

The authors receive salary and research support from the intramural program of the National Human Genome Research Institute. BDS is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, and has published some of the questions mentioned in this study in a book, as well as other questions [12]. Both editing/publishing activities are conducted as an approved outside activity, separate from his US Government role.

Ethics approval

No individual data were collected or analyzed (there was no access to individual respondent data); per discussion with NIH bioethics/IRB, the analyses described here are considered “not human subjects research” and do not require IRB review or formal exemption.

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Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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Duong, D., Solomon, B.D. Analysis of large-language model versus human performance for genetics questions. Eur J Hum Genet (2023).

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