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Human decision making starts with the collection and structuring of information. Following this, the information is assessed against individual criterias, depending on moods and emotions. Then a decision is then taken.

Artificial Intelligences takes over more and more areas of human decision making. Proponents say that the outcome is rational and not biased. Critical voices point to the loss of human judgment as people become less trained on information processing and more reliant on the software.

Do Algorithms Impact Human Decision Making?

Author: Matthias Maucher

The technological evolution allows us to save time and to do more than in an analog world. Today, algorithms are present in almost everything we do. They suggest products, entertain us and decide on the most efficient travel route to take. They are at the core of developments behind the self-driving car. And algorithms trade at financial markets worldwide. 

However, what is the difference between unintelligent and intelligent behavior? 

Basically, intelligent behaviour can be understood as the ability to solve problems and to adapt to new circumstances. Such, decision making lies at the heart of human intelligence.  Jack Copeland, Professor at the University of Canterbury, draws a clear line between intelligent human behavior and the unintelligent behavior of a wasp. Wasps traditionally carry food to the threshold of their burrow, then enter the space to check that all is safe. If a researcher moves the food lying at the threshold a few inches while the wasp is inside the burrow, the wasp follows the same program again and again: she carries the food to the threshold anew, goes in to look around, and emerges. This pattern may be repeated several times without the wasp learning from previous experience. Intelligence in contrast to that behavior is the ability to adapt one's behavior to fit new circumstances. Mainstream thinking in psychology regards human intelligence not as a single ability or cognitive process but rather as an array of separate components. Research in Artificial Intelligence focuses on learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, and language-understanding. 

Does the more and more self-evident use of Artificial Intelligence impact human thinking and behavior?

Currently, scientists and researchers are at odds with each other about the benefits and threats of AI-technology. Ray Kurzweil and members of the Future of Life Institute expect singularity in 10 to 20 years. By then, machines are expected to be more intelligent than human beings. It is difficult to predict, however, when exactly AI will outpace human intelligence. The last 5 years saw a boost of AI which was driven by the tech industries' advances in data storage and analysis.


However the evolution of AI happens, we at EI4Q expect people intelligently adapting to the new environment. Yet, one crucial prerequisite to allow for a well reflected adaptation of the society is, that the assessment of how useful products and services are remains in the hand of human beings and is not delegated to AI. Human rights such as self-determination and human dignity are inviolable. 

We provide you with a regular update on advances of AI and its' impact. 


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