Decision Products & Their Long-Term Integrity

Decision Products & Their Long-Term Integrity
Led by Prof. Robert Laughlin, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics

How can leaders make high-quality decisions to avoid disasters or to intervene in high-stakes environments using vast amounts of information?

The increasing velocity and complexity of decision-making in industry, government, and non-profit organizations has made business-as-usual methods for situation assessment and decision-making unmanageable:
•A vast amount of unchecked and unverified information is broadcasted on the web.
•We are surfing on a tsunami wave of information that is somewhat indigestible and doubling every 18 months (Moore’s Law). This lack of verifiable information makes methods for deliberation in government agencies, boardrooms, and non-profit groups difficult and uncertain.

One option is to use technology to augment the human brain, but this ongoing upgrade needs to be incremental.

In response to these challenges, this project assessed the human and technical infrastructures required to support the systematic construction of complex group decision products, and the procedures necessary to ensure their long-term integrity. The team focused on studying the requirements for integrating vast amounts of data, making sense of it, and producing decision products that are long-lasting. They also studied the economic incentives necessary to preserve the quality and accountability of such products.

Setting up quality indicators is important in augmented decision control groups. This enables world-class safety performance. Artificial Intelligence robotics and nanotechnology can provide safeguards. If an error occurs, decision makers won’t be able to say that they “had no idea” a disaster was possible – and hence, accountability is created. The team identified the following sources of decision system augmentation (which can be enabled through intelligent decision products):

•Augmenting of human skills
•Improving accuracy of predictions
•Accelerating process timing
•Solving complex problems
•Improving quality
•Increasing productivity
•Decreasing costs
•Managing knowledge
•Expanding range of possibilities
•Personal and group agents: Siri, Now, Electric Elves, Java IAL

Robert Laughlin and Neil Jacobstein

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