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Capabilities of GPT-4 in ophthalmology: an analysis of model entropy and progress towards human-level medical question answering.

BACKGROUND: Evidence on the performance of Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4 (GPT-4), a large language model (LLM), in the ophthalmology question-answering domain is needed.

METHODS: We tested GPT-4 on two 260-question multiple choice question sets from the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) Self-Assessment Program and the OphthoQuestions question banks. We compared the accuracy of GPT-4 models with varying temperatures (creativity setting) and evaluated their responses in a subset of questions. We also compared the best-performing GPT-4 model to GPT-3.5 and to historical human performance.

RESULTS: GPT-4-0.3 (GPT-4 with a temperature of 0.3) achieved the highest accuracy among GPT-4 models, with 75.8% on the BCSC set and 70.0% on the OphthoQuestions set. The combined accuracy was 72.9%, which represents an 18.3% raw improvement in accuracy compared with GPT-3.5 (p<0.001). Human graders preferred responses from models with a temperature higher than 0 (more creative). Exam section, question difficulty and cognitive level were all predictive of GPT-4-0.3 answer accuracy. GPT-4-0.3's performance was numerically superior to human performance on the BCSC (75.8% vs 73.3%) and OphthoQuestions (70.0% vs 63.0%), but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.55 and p=0.09).

CONCLUSION: GPT-4, an LLM trained on non-ophthalmology-specific data, performs significantly better than its predecessor on simulated ophthalmology board-style exams. Remarkably, its performance tended to be superior to historical human performance, but that difference was not statistically significant in our study.

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