Will Humans-in-The-Loop Become Borgs? Merits and Pitfalls of Working with AI

Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ) - Vol. 45 No. 3

30 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021 Last revised: 8 Nov 2021

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 - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: July 4, 2021

Abstract

We analyze how advice from an AI affects complementarities between humans and AI, in particular what humans know that an AI does not know: “unique human knowledge.” In a multi-method study consisting of an analytical model, experimental studies, and a simulation study, our main finding is that human choices converge toward similar responses improving individual accuracy. However, as overall individual accu-racy of the group of humans improves, the individual unique human knowledge decreases. Based on this finding, we claim that humans interacting with AI behave like “Borgs,” that is, cyborg creatures with strong individual performance but no human individuality. We argue that the loss of unique human knowledge may lead to several undesirable outcomes in a host of human–AI decision environments. We demonstrate this harmful impact on the “wisdom of crowds.” Simulation results based on our experimental data suggest that groups of humans interacting with AI are far less effective as compared to human groups without AI assistance. We suggest mitigation techniques to create environments that can provide the best of both worlds (e.g., by personalizing AI advice). We show that such interventions perform well individually as well as in wisdom of crowds settings.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, unique human knowledge, future of work, wisdom of crowds, analytical model, machine learning, AI–human complementarity

Suggested Citation

Fügener, Andreas and Grahl, Jörn and Gupta, Alok and Ketter, Wolfgang, Will Humans-in-The-Loop Become Borgs? Merits and Pitfalls of Working with AI (July 4, 2021). Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ) - Vol. 45 No. 3 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3879937

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 - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://is3.uni-koeln.de

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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

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

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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