Enhancing Judgment: The Case for Human–Algorithm Collaboration

Jon C. Willford, Edison Electric Institute

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Algorithms are increasingly used in assessment methods and technologies. The word algorithm is used colloquially in different ways, but in this context it generally refers to computer programs that utilize complex statistical models to combine tens, hundreds, or even thousands of variables to predict an outcome (e.g. job performance) or automate a process (e.g. eliminate unqualified applicants).

But although algorithms clearly have the potential to increase our ability to make better decisions, industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists and those in related fields have yet to fully consider how to optimize the collaboration between human decision makers and algorithmic decision aids. Viewing the human–algorithm relationship as a collaboration is fitting because better decision-making outcomes are possible when both are involved rather than when making decisions separately.

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