Realizing the Value from AI and Machine Learning Requires People

Dateline: September 1, 2017

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

AI and machine learning are all the rage, and the promise of once again transforming the way work is done and decisions are made looms large.  One aspect of this promise is the replacement of people with intelligent, decision-making AI and machine learning systems.  Recently, Dr. Jeanne Ross, Principle Research Scientist at MIT’s CISR published an article at Sloan Management Review makes the case for AI augmentation of human work, not replacement of that work.  In her article, The Fatal Flaw of AI Implementation she suggests,

…as with enterprise systems, AI inserted into businesses drives value by improving processes through automation. But eventually, the outputs of most automated processes require people to do something. As most managers have learned the hard way, computers can process data just fine, but that processing isn’t worth much if people are feeding them bad data in the first place or don’t know what to do with information or analysis once it’s provided.

She continues with,

When a machine learning algorithm decides who gets a loan and who doesn’t, forget about trying to advise a client about how to qualify. Financial institutions cannot use continuously learning algorithms for fraud detection because they aren’t stable and thus not explainable. Machine intelligence is not a substitute for human intelligence — we need to know why we’re doing what we’re doing!

As you bring AI and machine learning capabilities into your systems, what is your plan for augmenting vs replacing human decision making?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend!

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