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Opinion

When to Trust Robots with Decisions, and When Not To

By Vasant Dhar

vasant dhar

As these “robots” become a bigger part of our lives, we don’t have any framework for evaluating which decisions we should be comfortable delegating to algorithms and which ones humans should retain.

Smarter and more adaptive machines are rapidly becoming as much a part of our lives as the internet, and more of our decisions are being handed over to intelligent algorithms that learn from ever-increasing volumes and varieties of data.

As these “robots” become a bigger part of our lives, we don’t have any framework for evaluating which decisions we should be comfortable delegating to algorithms and which ones humans should retain. That’s surprising, given the high stakes involved.

I propose a risk-oriented framework for deciding when and how to allocate decision problems between humans and machine-based decision makers. I’ve developed this framework based on the experiences that my collaborators and I have had implementing prediction systems over the last 25 years in domains like finance, healthcare, education, and sports.

Read the full article as published in Harvard Business Review

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Vasant Dhar is a Professor of Information Systems.