Sunday, January 29, 2023

Inside the Black Box: Thoughts on Judgement, Intuition, Synthesis & Artificial Intelligence

Your Inner "Wisdom Filter" & Decision-Making

[Note: This article was inspired by a comment from a Facebook friend, one of the smartest people I know, after I posted a link to a news article about the potential for AI systems to attain singularity with humanity very soon. She said, "... as a writer and artist, I am not convinced that the divine spirit that informs great writers and artists can be replicated by computers." This comment poked at me for days, irritating and causing me to abandon the half-written article I had been working on. There is an old saying that sometimes writers write to figure out what they are actually thinking. Below is my response to my friend's comment, in which I have begun to figure out what I think about AI's place in our world. - MG]

Why You Can "Trust Your Gut" 

A few years back, when I was teaching project management (PM) for new project managers, I encouraged them to overcome their decision-making doubts and "analysis paralysis" by showing them a graphical depiction of why their so-called "gut decisions" or intuitions were actually grounded in their many valuable life experiences. (See diagram above.) I later captured the matching narrative in a podcast then an essay which became the chapter Why You Should Trust Your Judgement (Your "Inner Wisdom" Filter) in my book Worth Sharing: Essays & Tools to Help Project Managers & Their Teams.  

Here's a quick summary: 

"... Your intuitions, “gut feelings,” and hunches are derived from, and ultimately grounded in, your unique life experiences, both good and bad. And because of this, they have behind them the solid proof of your reality. To illustrate how all these experiences come together to generate solid, trustworthy judgments, I present to you the analogy of the common kitchen strainer... Your inner voice (i.e., your judgment) operates pretty much like that kitchen strainer! Let’s say you have to make a difficult decision and don’t have time to think about it. All sorts of possibilities and pertinent facts and constraints and outcomes rattle around in your brain. Your “internal strainer” is activated to deal with this. The wires in your strainer are made up of a vast set of unique experiences that you’ve acquired over your lifetime. Successes, failures, joys, miseries, and all sorts of life events combine to form this internal screening mechanism.... when all the possible solutions and issues related to a problem are dumped into that strainer, the good stuff — a unique and powerful judgment — emerges. It’s a judgment that’s automatically informed by all of your life experiences. And, as such, it’s powerful and trustworthy!" -  from Why You Should Trust Your Judgement (Your "Inner Wisdom" Filter)