Can Humans Read Better Than Computers?

Reading is a very human activity. The act of reading is so complicated that even the most advanced computer can’t do it as well as you can.

When you read, you take shortcuts, play hunches, figure things out in advance, and you make all these calculations almost instantly. You see letters in groups and the number of letters you see at any one time depends on how complicated the reading material is.

You might take in three letters at a time or you might stop to take in seven or even as many as twenty. Most of the time, we stop for a quarter of a second and see seven letters.

A good reader, reading material he can understand, reads at about 350 words a minute. That averages out to spending 4/100 of a second seeing each letter.