Are computers more effective at decision making than humans?

United States
September 20, 2012 10:04pm CST
I just read a story on Yahoo, that companies are spending billions on computer software that uses algorithms to determine if someone is a good job candidate. It used to be a human making decisions like this, but apparently because we are human our judgement is too flawed to make these decisions. What are your thoughts people, because I'm feeling like we are only a few years from the Matrix.
1 person likes this
11 responses
@peavey (16973)
• United States
21 Sep 12
In reality, the software and the outcome is only as good as the humans who create it and the humans who input the information on the candidates, so it's still really up to human beings. I can't really see how it's going to come up with the right person. If the applicants put in their information themselves, they can skew that information either favorably or unfavorably. If the information is entered by another employee, the same thing happens. If it's just a matter of age, education level and other cold facts, there's not much to the decision and the business has spent money unnecessarily. Any fool can read a list of "qualification" disconnected from the applicant and choose the best one.
• United States
21 Sep 12
I believe the thinking is, if they can come up with a computer program to eliminate certain HR jobs then they will save money. To me this is just another way for greedy corporations to downsize more.
@peavey (16973)
• United States
21 Sep 12
I'm sure that's their intent and I agree that it's another grab for the money. It certainly won't be more efficient.
@peavey (16973)
• United States
22 Sep 12
Exactly. That's what I was trying to say in the first place.
• Malaysia
21 Sep 12
this is what happened when people are too profit-oriented.. they just want make money and by using this software they believe that they can try to cut their losses with highly potential and productive people.. We as humans sometime can never do what the computers can.. BUT.. sometimes humanly attitude are needed for certain jobs.. That's what differentiate us from them(computers)..
• United States
21 Sep 12
I feel the same way. It used to be a business owner would take pride in his ability to hire someone. He used his instincts to pick the best candidate, and he took a personal interest in that employees work development.
• Malaysia
21 Sep 12
Yes, you right.And the continuity of a company depends on the the knowledge and experience of the owner.The owner is responsible for the company and his employees. If this software is come into practice..then the owner of the company is the computer because they're the one making decision which supposedly done the Human owner.. someday,Computers will own us if we're are being too dependent and continue this kind of trend.
• United States
21 Sep 12
I can totally foresee the world as the Matrix if this happens. I think whats missing from this equation is a lack of trust in the employees that are hired.
@inertia4 (28164)
• United States
4 Oct 12
I would say no they are not. Computers are only as smart as the people who create them. Remember computers did not make people, people made computers. They can instill high intelligence into computers so that they can solve equations and problems much more quickly then we can. But they cannot make better decisions.
• United States
5 Oct 12
I would say the same thing, but seeing stories like this makes me question the direction society is trying to travel. I think some people would prefer to have a computer do all the thinking for them.
@baddkabee (115)
• Singapore
22 Sep 12
With the rapid advancement of technology and the rise of automated machines doing the tasks of humans more efficiently and eventually replacing humans due to our reliance on them, and more robots are being built to decide on its own through AI, the matrix scenario might not be in the distant future indeed...
• United States
22 Sep 12
I really believe so. Not only that, but how many people actually retain their basic math skills like long division, now that we rely on computers so much. We are compiling vasts amounts of information on the internet, but lets say a dooms day scenario happens and all the computers stop working. How much history do we lose because of our reliance on computers?
@gedua41 (27)
• Singapore
22 Sep 12
In terms of being rational, computers are not. But in terms with executing what is being asked, it is more effective than humans. With just a 1 or a 0 to choose from during its decision process, it is much faster than us humans which tends to consider those between 1 or 0 and those that are outside of 1 and 0.
• United States
22 Sep 12
Human nature can not be broken down into ones and zeroes. We are random creatures. Our thoughts and actions cannot be simplified so easily. You let a computer do the hiring for your company,the only people you will hire are those that no how to full the computer. People who use trickery are not ideal candidates for jobs.
• India
21 Sep 12
Hi friend, computers don't have the ability to work by their own, always it needs the human power to operate, it just saves the time and work and do things faster than human. Computers don't make the decisions by their own without the programs which is developed by a human
• United States
21 Sep 12
Yes but they can replace a whole staff of HR people who look for candidates to fill positions in a company. My old job had a staff of 18 HR people to hire people all over the country. Think of what would happen if that company decided to cut down the HR staff to one person and a computer program.
@nzalheart (2338)
• India
21 Sep 12
Hi PhillyDreamer, I think it can be a effective way to determine if some is a good job candidate. But it depends upon the nature of algorithm they are going to use, the no. of factors they are going to consider. Determining the good job candidate not only depends upon the how many answers he can give in the questions of interview. There are lot other factors. In the field of AI, the intelligence is installed on the basis of experiences. Computers cannot think new things unless it has been taught. Its all about analysis algorithm they design. Computers with AI can be able to take in account various circumstances it has learn or the input it has been given, process it and give the response. They are programmed to process the informations on the basis of how a real human analyzer analyses and process information in their mind. It happens that a person can process the information of the job candidtate in his mind slowly, he takes in account various informations of each candidate but the calculations he make in his mind are mostly general. If the computer is programmed with capability of such calculations and observations, then the computer with AI can give best response. However, in reality there can always be exceptions. Happy mylotting...
• United States
21 Sep 12
My fear is people will rely on the computers to the point that people will be pigeon holed without exception. Every deserves the right to work, and if everyone starts using these programs it will lead to a type of classism that we don't want to see.
• Philippines
21 Sep 12
I am at cross at this one. I think I like the objective part fo this. The part where you don’t have to literally kiss the bottom of the HR manager to get you in or having a contact inside the office. Although, I was hired many times due to this method, sometimes the method is also abused. However, I also came upon the disadvantages of the said software in reading other responses. Of course, any hire is a chance to take for the manager and the company. You can't always have a perfect interview as much as many employees want it to turn into their favour. Also, it's kinda creepy that a potential employee has to contend with a machine to get a living. Work experience and the actual conversation in the interview is still unpredictable. I think that it is a good tool but it is not a perfect tool as other would like to feel or think. There are still some things a computer can do and sometimes, probably never can understand.
• United States
21 Sep 12
I used to do the interviews at my old job for hiring people. It was a learning process for me, as the first person I hired, turned out to be very unmotivated, but after a few more tries, I began to see the subtle differences between a good candidate and a bad one. Flattery was one of my red flags, I never hired anyone for kissing my butt.
@nyssa102 (748)
• United States
21 Sep 12
Wow, this is a tough one. I mean, if we start to allow computers to make these kinds of decisions, then pretty soon, we will all go to Best Buy to pick up chips to put into our heads, that assist in making our decisions for us. That is a future possibility. But back to your question. part of me wants to say 'YAY' to human decision making process. However, I've met my share of stupid jerks in my life. Some of these held positions in management. I've seen some managers make some really stupid choices. I always had a good eye, and this one manager would always take me into the office, and ask me who she should choose, because everyone I chose turned out to be an excellent employee. So, in other words, I was her 'computer' making choices for her, because she felt that I had a better bead on things, and they always worked out in these situations. This is iffy, because some managers cannot choose a good employee, ever. This costs the company money in the long run. If used as just another tool, I don't see a problem. As long as we do the choosing in the end. We make the final choice.
• United States
21 Sep 12
That computer chip idea, sounds like it has possibilities. LOL. I believe no matter what you program a computer to do it will never be able to judge the human factor. If we convince ourselves computers are able to make better decisions then it won't be long before we use them to make government decisions. Could you imagine a computer serving as a judge of the law.
@Otanetix (508)
• United States
21 Sep 12
No, I do not think that computers are not necessarily better at determining whether or not a person is a good job candidate. You have to remember software contains complex algorithms in code that were written by human beings. Software can definitely process more information than the human mind, but software cannot exactly measure all aspects of a person that can make them a good candidate. Software is only a tool that makes our lives easier. Rather than processing information by ourselves, we use software to make our lives easier by helping us with various tasks. With the economy's current status, there's so many job applications to look over with a lot of people still looking for jobs; I think that is part of the reason for companies spending so much money on the type of software which evaluates job candidates. With software, it makes the workload of people who look over job applications much easier. However, until our society has perfected artificial intelligence technology that is integrated into machines, I think it will be awhile until we are ruled by machines like in the Matrix. But I understand your comment about the Matrix because of the progression of how our technology is advancing; it's very unpredictable on how advanced technology will be in the near future. In conclusion, software might be able to process information faster, but human beings are still needed to look at factors about a job candidate that software might not be able to evaluate.
• United States
21 Sep 12
I think the folly is in the belief of what people think computers can accomplish. One of the factors that is evaluate is commute time. If a person lives too far away they are considered a bad candidate and passed up. The computer doesn't take into account, that persons desire to be employed and the sacrifices he might make in order to work at the job.
@romzee (937)
• Philippines
21 Sep 12
It's still far fetch for a computer to make decisions for themselves. Although, computer technology advancement accelerates every year, Computers are still just a tool used by human, all they gave are data we need to arrive at a better choice or decision. Garbage in, garbage out. Computers with self awareness and can learn from own experiences is still just for movies. Cheers!
• United States
21 Sep 12
The problem is, people don't understand this concept. They seem to think they can invent a computer program that can predict human nature. They don't take into account factors like having a bad boss, family emergencies, or other issues that come up that effect a persons work performance. The employer-employee relationship is becoming less personal as the years go by.