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Michael Mueller, vice president of Aperio Consulting Group, explains how artificial intelligence can lead to fresh insights into behavioral science, and drive more accurate decision-making by business.
One might assume that artificial intelligence can offer little insight into the mysteries of human behavior. But that’s not the case, says Mueller. A.I. offers the unique ability to capture huge volumes of data “to help understand the nuance and complexity of human beings.”
A.I. is becoming an increasingly important tool for advancing behavioral science, Mueller says. It enables smarter decision-making by businesses looking to choose the right job candidate or develop the best employees within the organization. It makes use of detailed psychometric data — identifying and categorizing multiple personality traits — to reveal previously unperceived connections, and provide “ways of measuring aspects of our humanity.”
Mueller cites the example of a company looking to hire the best candidates for its sales organization. It assumed that they would be the most strongly extroverted individuals, but A.I. helped to reveal that traditional introverts could actually turn out to be among the highest performers.
How such decisions are made by A.I. can be difficult to understand, evoking the prospect of a “black box” that generates output without laying out the logic that got it there. But Mueller says the system can yield a “window” into the process, allowing humans to combine the data with their own intuition to make final decisions.
Still, he says, A.I. “is only as good as the data that trains it.” And that leads to the possibility of biased decisions. Users of the system must be able to detect anomalies in the results. “There should be strong consideration given to ensuring that the data … results in a fair and unbiased algorithm,” Mueller says.
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