Algorithms or Human Beings – Who are the Better Decision Makers?

We live in a world where technological advancements happen almost every day in our life. One such advancement is the use of algorithms in the decision-making process. They have almost replaced the human beings in the decision making process. Even though it is beneficial to a certain extent, people are still uncertain about the consequences that might happen due to their decisions.

From criminal justice to education, the algorithms have started exhibiting their decision-making skills. But will our rights be given proper consideration and protection while making such decisions? This is one of most debatable questions in the world today.

The Council of Europe recently published an article titled, “Algorithms and Human Rights – Study on the human rights dimension of automated data processing techniques and possible regulatory implications”. This study, prepared by the committee of experts on the internet intermediaries (MSI-NET) of the Council of Europe, focuses on the negativities of using algorithms for decision-making.

The study shows that it is difficult to predict the ways in which an algorithm operates to make a decision. It varies depending on the type of functions performed by the algorithms, the level of abstraction, and also the complexity of the automated processing used. Hence, each decision will have a different impact on the human beings. This study also helps to understand the different human rights concerns triggered by the increasing role of the algorithms in the decision-making process.

This study, in fact, makes us wonder about the person who is responsible for these human rights violations. It can be the programmer, operator, or the person who implemented the decisions behind these violations. It, thus, encourages us to think if the algorithm decision making is actually beneficial to us compared to the decisions made by the humans.

This expert study has also conducted an examination to identify the ways to operate the algorithms in accordance with the well-established human rights standards, including the rule of law principles and judiciary processes. If properly used, these algorithms will help us to gain a lot of benefits in terms of efficiency and time consumption.

Hence, before depending completely on the algorithms to implement the new decisions, it is necessary to examine the repercussions it may cause to the basic rights of the human beings. No matter how efficient a technology is, it requires an expert to operate it without any flaws.

Algorithms have a wide range of applications in the current world. They are involved in sifting job applications, calculating credit scores, offering loans and mortgages, etc. They are also involved in the release of criminal from the jails. The decisions made at crucial moments will have a greater impact on the human beings. Thus, it is necessary to be more vigilant while dealing with these algorithms.

Even though a lot of people support the use of algorithms in decision-making, the decisions made by them cannot be compared with the efficiency of the human decisions. We can only hope the technology to find the methods required to rectify the current flaws in the algorithms as soon as possible.