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Man or Machine

Derek Bambauer, a professor at the University of Arizona‘s law school, studied people’s preferences between decisions being made for them by other humans or machines.

I was surprised by how sensible people’s preferences were. When one was better than the other, they preferred the better one.

When the stakes were very high they preferred humans. I am inferring that on high-stakes issues, they are more hesitant to believe claims about the machines. I may be wrong that about that.

While there can be some concern about the representativeness of his sample (Mechanical Turk users), the idea of finding a population anywhere that is sensible on any issue is a cause for celebration.

Perhaps there is hope for humanity after all.

Or perhaps I am reading too much into the results.

Full text for “Worse Than Human?” is available for those that want to check whether I have cause for enthusiasm.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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