I recently read The Human Strategy, a very interesting article on Human-AI decision systems by MIT Media Lab professor Sandy Pentland. Pentland is the faculty director of MIT Connection Science, - with which I’m associated as a Fellow, - as well as director of the Human Dynamics Lab. In 2014 he published Social Physics: How Social Networks Can Make Us Smarter.
“Perhaps the most critical function of any organization or society is its decision systems,” wrote Pentland. “In modern societies, decision systems provide a leader the ability to make informed and timely decisions, supported by a complex enterprise of distributed information and communication systems that provide situational awareness. Traditionally, decision systems have been confined to individual physical domains, such as logistics, physical plant, and human resources, and more recently virtual domains such as cyber, by both policy and technology, resulting in challenges with the integration of information across disparate domains.”
But, despite the increasingly complex decisions that organizations are called upon to make, decision-making remains human-intensive and anecdotal. Few organizations have applied social network analysis to help them scale the size and expertise of the decision-making group. Nor have they integrated the large amounts of data, analytical tools and powerful AI systems now at our disposal into their decision making systems.