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AI-Assisted Decisions: The Role of Expert Judgment. Part II

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Mauricio Covarrubias
November 10, 2023

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes an increasingly valuable tool in public administration, it is essential that public officials are prepared to harness its potential while maintaining a focus on making ethical decisions informed by human judgment.

In this second part, we will explore other aspects of the importance of human judgment in AI-assisted decision-making and how public officials can play a fundamental role in this process.

  1. Adaptation to the organization’s needs: This process is crucial to ensure that the decisions made are effective and strategic.

Prediction customization. Experts can tailor AI predictions to align with the organization’s requirements. This may involve adjusting AI model parameters or incorporating additional data relevant to the organization.

Achievement of strategic objectives. Experts can ensure that AI predictions align with the institution’s purpose, meaning that predictions contribute to the organization’s mission and vision.

Evaluation of available resources. Experts can take into account available resources, such as budget and staff, when applying AI predictions. This involves making practical decisions on how to efficiently implement AI recommendations.

Results measurement. Experts can establish metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the impact of AI-based decisions on the organization, enabling continuous monitoring and adaptation.

Adjusting AI predictions to the needs of the organization is crucial to ensure that the decisions made are effective and strategic. Experts play an essential role in this process by adapting and directing AI predictions according to the specific objectives and available resources of the organization.

  1. Validation and error correction. This process is aimed at ensuring that AI-based decisions are supported by accurate data and robust models.

Data verification. It is the responsibility of experts to verify the quality of the data used to train AI models and generate predictions. This includes identifying and correcting incorrect, incomplete or biased data that could affect the accuracy of predictions.

Model evaluation. Experts can assess the performance of AI models based on specific metrics, such as accuracy, bias and robustness.

Continuous feedback. Experts can provide ongoing feedback to AI development teams, helping to fine-tune and improve models over time. This ensures that AI becomes increasingly effective and accurate.

Validation and error correction by experts are essential to ensure the quality and reliability of AI predictions. Continuous monitoring and improvement are essential to keep AI models at their best and ensure that AI-based decisions are supported by accurate data and robust models.

  1. Effective communication. This process is essential in public administration, as decisions must be explained and justified to citizens and other interested parties.

Internal communication. Experts play a crucial role in communicating AI-based findings within the organization, which involves explaining in a clear and understandable way how a certain decision was reached with the help of AI to other team members and stakeholders.

Technical translation. Experts can translate technical language and AI metrics into terms that are understandable to those without experience in technology or data analysis. This facilitates informed decision making at all levels of the organization.

Results presentation. Experts can use effective visualizations, reports and presentations to compellingly communicate AI results. This helps support decision-making and build trust in AI-based recommendations.

Feedback and discussion. Experts can facilitate constructive discussions and debates around AI-based decisions, encouraging collaboration and feedback from team members and stakeholders.

Communication by experts is essential to ensure that AI-based findings and decisions are understood and accepted. In this sense, they can translate technical concepts into language understandable to the general public and build trust in the community by providing transparency in the decision-making process.

In conclusion, we can say that the combination of artificial intelligence and human judgment is a powerful alliance in public administration. While AI can analyze data and provide valuable predictions, human judgment is essential to contextualize, ethically apply, communicate and adapt decisions to a dynamic environment. The public administration of the 21st century will benefit greatly from this collaboration between technology and human experience, and public officials are the key protagonists in this interaction. Public officials must recognize and embrace the role of experts in this dynamic and evolving landscape to make decisions that serve the best interests of all citizens.

Author: Mauricio Covarrubias is Professor at the National Institute of Public Administration in Mexico.  He is co-founder of the International Academy of Political-Administrative Sciences (IAPAS).  He is the founder and Editor of the International Journal of Studies on Educational Systems (RIESED). Member of the National System of Researchers of CONACYT.  He received his Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @OMCovarrubias

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