Harnessing the Potential: Strategies to ADVANCE Decision-Making in the AI Era

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) infiltrating more and more of our day-to-day, no progress in technological development can be made without progress in human decision-making. While an increasing number of AI applications in business intelligence promise to vastly improve our decision-making capabilities, these improvements will only continue to rely on human-centric initiatives, especially when it comes to strategy-formation. This essay will show how we can improve human decision-making in an increasingly AI-centred world, and why it is not only good, but necessary, to maintain the human element if we want to progress towards a bright AI future.

The Reality of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

While since its release in November 2022, the world of AI advancements has whirled around us, the arrival of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) seems to remain beyond arm’s reach, or at least immediate grasp. However, the fact that it still is beyond us never releases the AI train from moving forward, either way. Terms like inference, or reasoning, or even more esoteric words such as training-data with which the AI world is accustomed to, are slowly permeating our everyday language. This terminological shift does not only reflect our increase in familiarity with AI, but also highlights its primary role in advancing the ways and means in which we analyse, interpret and act upon information.

Augmenting Human Decision-Making: The AI Assist

The thing that makes AI so useful right now is that it can enhance strategic human decision-making, and particularly at the analytic and strategy end of business. For instance, you can imagine a product marketing manager using a text-to-SQL AI tool to analyse trends in customer feedback or job ads. These tools don’t replace human insight, they enhance it. They allow for more sophisticated, nuanced, human decision-making. It’s an exciting time where computers aren’t replacing advisors in the boardroom, but rather deepening their advisory value, and at the same time, a time where humans haven’t been entirely replaced by AI.

Advancing Strategy with Insightful Data

  • Setting forehand standards: establishing clear, neutral standards prior to examining the facts enables the decision maker to avoid the all-too-common tendency to move the goal posts. such decisions are made in advance, based on pre-agreed standards, are inherently more strategic, and objective.

Diving into Data: A Collective Intelligence Approach

  • to advance collective insight, encouraging decision-makers to document and later share their insights independently avoids the undue influence of hierarchies and cultivates a broader, more open environment for analysis – one where officials of all ranks are more likely to actively articulate and pursue their perspectives.

Strategic Decision-Making: Breaking Down Complexities

  • Defragmenting Decisions: Once you start to think of big decisions as being composed of smaller, interconnected choices, you can more effectively take them apart for deeper, more nuanced review. The more you talk about and write down your decisions, the deeper your strategy takes on, and the better documentation you create for future review and learning.
The Crucial Feedback Loop
  • Establishing Kill Criteria: The establishment of objective, data-driven milestones that force managers to change direction or stop a project. Such ‘kill criteria’ ensure both strategic flexibility and intellectual honesty, which are the hallmarks of a data‑centric corporate culture.

The Unchanged Core: The Value of Human Judgment

Even in a world of ever-smarter machines, the essence of decision-making will always be human. The ability to handle multiple cognitive biases, to blend data and intuition, to keep ethics at the heart of decision-making and to build strategic foresight is all about being human. For this reason, improving decision-making in the age of AI is much more about making humans smarter with the help of AI than it is about relegating decision-making to machines.

The Art of Advance: Evolving Decision-Making in Business

To conclude, we are on the path to AGI, with a series of milestones whereby machines can engage in independent strategic planning erupting before our eyes. Decision-making as a human art cannot be fully outsourced to AI, but we can accelerate the development of ways in which we use AI to amplify our innate decision-making abilities towards a more symbiotic relationship, where the art of human insight and technological automation help to drive the engine of business strategy and decision-making forward.

About Advance:

By advance, I mean practising a way of stratagemically augmenting human judgments with the amplifying power of AI, a practising that acts as a two-part process. It leverages technology in complementary ways that strengthen, augment and support the human mind – helping to temper, enrich, and make more nuanced, flexible and fully human those strategic approaches taken. Advance practise will be a key part of the dual approach that organisations should keep in mind if they want to survive and thrive in this age of AI.

Jun 16, 2024
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