April 18, 2020

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Decision-making Matrix and Human Free Will

Professional data scientists automate smart decision making processes using an assortment of tools including technology, artificial intelligence, deductive and inductive logic, experimentation and real-world experience. Yet human free will is an important consideration.

We must honor the distinction between system or organization level decision making processes and individual human level decision making capabilities. There is a delicate balance between system level thinking and human rights - the ability of humans to exercise free will and make decisions for themselves that may contradict system level goals. The relationship between freedom and order in society is tricky yet real-world experience teaches us that individual freedom optimizes innovation, wealth and a high quality of life for a strong majority.

Seasoned data scientists attempt to balance centralized versus decentralized decision making systems - erring on the side of individual human freedom. Historical experience instructs that overly centralized decision making - while providing benefits - has the potential to abuse human rights and civil liberties and make massive mistakes without timely self-correcting mechanisms.

Empowering people with high quality information to apply free will to make personal decisions is critical to ensure a better future.

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