The Algorithmic Automation Problem: Prediction, Triage, and Human Effort [article]

Maithra Raghu, Katy Blumer, Greg Corrado, Jon Kleinberg, Ziad Obermeyer, Sendhil Mullainathan
2019 arXiv   pre-print
In a wide array of areas, algorithms are matching and surpassing the performance of human experts, leading to consideration of the roles of human judgment and algorithmic prediction in these domains. The discussion around these developments, however, has implicitly equated the specific task of prediction with the general task of automation. We argue here that automation is broader than just a comparison of human versus algorithmic performance on a task; it also involves the decision of which
more » ... tances of the task to give to the algorithm in the first place. We develop a general framework that poses this latter decision as an optimization problem, and we show how basic heuristics for this optimization problem can lead to performance gains even on heavily-studied applications of AI in medicine. Our framework also serves to highlight how effective automation depends crucially on estimating both algorithmic and human error on an instance-by-instance basis, and our results show how improvements in these error estimation problems can yield significant gains for automation as well.
arXiv:1903.12220v1 fatcat:y2azbqr33fg3be5uowcevuks4e