Okay, so we have a benchmark where the bog-standard human being scores 94.9%.
Yes, and now the algorithms are better. More importantly, the 'standard human' only does that when it is paying attention, which it can't do for more than 15 minutes or so. The computer does it day in, day out, forever. And it will get better over time.
Then in February (that's three months ago), Microsoft reports hitting 95.06%; the first score to edge the humans. Then in March, Google notches 95.18%. Now it's May, and Baidu puts up a 95.42%. Meh. Swinging dicks with big iron are twiddling with their algorithms to squeeze out incremental, marginal improvements on an arbitrary task.
You denigrate their work, but that's the way science works: incrementally almost all the time. In any field, you will see tweaking, slight improvements, variations, and a couple of new ideas. And then one of the researchers will hit on the next big idea. So what? What the hell have you done? You're just being a dick.
“Our company is now leading the race in computer intelligence,” said Ren Wu, a Baidu scientist working on the project. ... “We have great power in our hands—much greater than our competitors.”
I presume that next month it will be IBM boasting about "leading the race" and being "much greater than their competitors". The month after that it will be Microsoft's turn again. Google will be back on top in August or so...unless, of course, some other benchmark starts getting some press.
First, what they are doing is very hard. So, yeah, doing 0.25% better than someone else is a big deal. Let's see you do better.
Second, look at the performance over time. There was the NIST handwriting sets, and then the Stanford data sets, then the 'standard' was the PASCAL Visual Object Challenge and people were slowly improving to the point that someone else needed to step up and provide a better standard (more categories and more examples of each). And that was the ILSVC, and now we're down to the last couple percent on those. The next set will be bigger and harder. And performance will improve on that one too. That's expected and a good thing. Image recognition is stunningly hard; thanks to the hard work by these researchers it's gotten a lot better.
here's your obligatory XKCD