Can Computer Algorithms Replace Human Judgement?

By Phin Upham

According to a recent article in AEON Magazine, computer-generated algorithms are increasingly replacing human judgement in daily life. Internet search sites use predictive technology to determine what search terms people use before they are finished typing or which ads they should see. Grocery stores automatically print coupons for customers based on their past shopping history. Social media sites use algorithms to search out and delete potentially offensive content.


But the article suggests that there are areas where human judgement is more important than computer-driven logic. One example given is with computer-driven cars, which are legal in three states and are currently being developed by Google. A human driver can make moral choice to put themselves in greater danger while taking evasive action to avoid other cars or pedestrians; a computer wouldn’t be able to use morality in making its decision.


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About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.