Collaboration and Delegation between Humans and AI: An Experimental Investigation of the Future of Work

Posted: 10 Apr 2019

See all articles by Andreas Fügener

Andreas Fügener

University of Cologne

Jörn Grahl

University of Cologne

Alok Gupta

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Wolfgang Ketter

University of Cologne - Institute of Energy Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: April 8, 2019

Abstract

A defining question of our age is how AI will influence the workplace of the future and, thereby, the human condition. The dominant perspective is that the competition between AI and humans will be won by either humans or machines. We argue that the future workplace may not belong exclusively to humans or machines. Instead, it is better to use AI together with humans by combining their unique characteristics and abilities. In three experimental studies, we let humans and a state of the art AI classify images alone and together. As expected, the AI outperforms humans. Humans could improve by delegating to the AI, but this combined effort still does not outperform AI itself. The most effective scenario was inversion, where the AI delegated to a human when it was uncertain. Humans could in theory outperform all other configurations if they delegated effectively to the AI, but they did not. Human delegation suffered from wrong self-assessment and lack of strategy. We show that humans are even bad at delegating if they put effort in delegating well; the reason being that despite their best intentions, their perception of task difficulty is often not aligned with the real task difficulty if the image is hard. Humans did not know what they did not know. Because of this, they do not delegate the right images to the AI. This result is novel and important for human-AI collaboration at the workplace. We believe it has broad implications for the future of work, the design of decision support systems, and management education in the age of AI.

Keywords: Future of Work, Artificial Intelligence, Augemented Decision Environments, Deep Learning, Human-AI Collaboration, Machine Learning, Intelligent Software Agents

Suggested Citation

Fügener, Andreas and Grahl, Jörn and Gupta, Alok and Ketter, Wolfgang, Collaboration and Delegation between Humans and AI: An Experimental Investigation of the Future of Work (April 8, 2019). ERIM Report Series . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3368813

Andreas Fügener

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Jörn Grahl

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Alok Gupta

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Wolfgang Ketter (Contact Author)

University of Cologne - Institute of Energy Economics ( email )

Alte Wagenfabrik
Vogelsanger Strasse 321a
Cologne, 50827
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://ewi.uni-koeln.de/en/

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/energy

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