The Managers dilemmas: Machines should help humans to make decisions

Kay Kurzweil believes we will reach “Technological singularity”, a moment in history when the intelligence of the machines surpasses the human intelligence. During this path towards singularity, managers must consider several dilemmas to be more effective and to take advantage of machines; here are they:

The big data dilemma:

I am a big fan of big data, its possibilities are endless, and now with the availability of extracting the data from the Internet of Everything (IOE) the managers could make better decisions.

A great example is “Palantir”, the company who helped the CIA to kill Osama Bin Laden. Their software showed the Al Qaeda connections and allowed the human analysts to go beyond the relevant information and through their intuition connecting the dots.

The pattern recognition dilemma:

We could train machines to identify patterns: From identifying a song, to understanding a tumor in an MRI image, to calculate risks.  We, as humans, are the ones who should have the control and make the decisive decisions; it will not matter if it were good or bad decisions, but if they were human driven.

In a company, the integration of new algorithms will allow understanding the effectiveness and efficiency of different resources. Estimating the required available resources to accomplish a specific project. Uploading the information to the cloud and allowing the managers to see a comparison of different projects. This will be an invaluable tool for managers because they could have more accurate estimates. However, these algorithms should never make decisions on whom to hire, who to fire, and how the project should be. Their mission should have two components: Execute faster calculations and offer advice to the managers.

The decisions should be kept in the manager’s hands because of their experience managing different situations and their understanding of the ambiguities of humans, such as motivation, love or mood.

The Excessive trust in rationality dilemma:

There should be a good reason why humans are born with two hemispheres; if we focus on one hemisphere (the left), we could lose human potential.

Let us take the example of worldwide-recognized entrepreneurs who based their decision in not only hard data and facts (left hemisphere), but also they rely on their “gut” (right hemisphere). The intuition is a product of experience and knowledge inserted into their sub-consciousness.

The multitasking dilemma:

Most people believe humans can perform several tasks at the same time, but this is not true. Our brains do not work like that; our brains can concentrate on one specific activity with all the brain capacity at once. However, software programs on the other side could be the best companions for our tasks. They can manage different information streams and execute thousands of tasks at the same time. They can calculate millions of possibilities and then give us the condensed data so we can focus on one thing at a time and do it well.

What do you think could be other dilemmas?

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