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How Is AI Used in Decision-Making Processes?


Trinh Nguyen

Feb 19, 2024

How Is AI Used in Decision-Making Processes?

Every day, people face countless decisions, not just in their personal lives but also in the business world. Making sound decisions has become increasingly challenging these days. According to Oracle’s research in 2023, a whopping 85% of business leaders have felt the stress of decision-making, with three-quarters experiencing a tenfold increase in daily decision volumes over the past three years.

But we have good news – artificial intelligence can offer your business enormous benefits, especially in important business decisions. This technology can greatly expedite and enhance human decision-making by streamlining tasks and leveraging data science effectively.

In this article, we’ll discover the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in decision-making, highlight important caveats to watch out for, and more.

Let’s get the ball rolling.

What Is AI-Driven Decision-Making?

AI-driven decision-making is the process of utilizing artificial intelligence techniques to make well-informed choices or take actions based on collected data, rules, and other inputs. There exist many different AI technologies that could contribute to this approach, such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and speech recognition.

Typically, this process includes important steps like data collection, data processing, data analysis, and making predictions. Through these operations, the AI system can produce recommendations, determine optimal courses of action, or even take actions autonomously.

3 Types of AI Decision-Making Models

3 Types of AI Decision-Making

AI decision-making models can be categorized into three distinct types:

  • Decision Support

AI decision support systems can quickly review large amounts of data and present clear, factual information. These systems handle all the analysis and data presentation while you control the actual decision-making. For instance, they can help detect the highs and lows in your sales cycles, enabling you to manage inventory purchasing smartly.

  • Decision Augmentation

AI decision augmentation systems recommend decisions to human users using predictive or prescriptive analytics. You’re still the one who actively evaluates the quality of machine learning algorithms’ decisions and decides whether to accept, reject, or modify the results.

  • Decision Automation

Decision automation systems automatically make decisions or take actions based on predefined rules, along with prescriptive and predictive analytics. These systems offer advantages such as speed, scalability, and consistency in decision-making.

Importance of AI in Decision-Making

Importance of AI in Decision-Making

Employing AI in decision-making processes brings about great benefits.

  • Data-driven insights: Artificial intelligence and computer science are capable of analyzing vast amounts of data to find correlations, patterns, and trends that might elude human observation, providing valuable insights to decision-makers to solve complex problems.
  • Enhanced accuracy: Using advanced machine learning techniques and data analysis, artificial intelligence models deliver precise and unbiased insights consistently, minimizing human errors and biases.
  • Faster decision-making: AI’s ability to swiftly process extensive data sets allows quick real-time insights. This results in faster data-driven decision-making, especially when incorporating automation into various aspects of your business processes.
  • Improved efficiency: AI tools excel in automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks within decision-making processes. This enables human resources to redirect their efforts toward more sophisticated and strategic planning aspects of the business, which helps enhance overall efficiency.
  • Better risk management and mitigation: Artificial intelligence can evaluate and analyze a wide range of risk variables, assisting decision-makers in identifying potential risks and developing viable mitigation plans.

Challenges of AI in Decision Making

Challenges of AI in Decision Making

While AI decision-making offers numerous benefits, it’s not without flaws. Here are some common issues to be mindful of to ensure a smooth decision-making process:

  • Data quality and reliability: While artificial intelligence holds great data analytics capabilities, its outcomes are only as good as the data it receives. Using incomplete, inaccurate, or biased data can result in flawed insights or false outputs, often known as hallucinations.
  • Lack of human understanding and context: Despite its complex algorithms, artificial intelligence lacks the nuances of human understanding. Thus, it may struggle with context and subjective factors crucial to decision-making. Human intervention becomes necessary here, especially in tasks like developing marketing messages using large language models, where thorough proofreading is required for a coherent narrative.
  • Ethical considerations: Ethical decision-making is a significant concern in AI use, raising issues of privacy, fairness, transparency, and accountability. While AI technologies can reduce numeric errors, AI software still risks replicating human biases. For instance, AI recruiting software has been found to demonstrate gender biases when trained on data mostly on one gender group.
  • Interpretability and explainability: Certain AI algorithms, like deep learning neural networks, can be extremely complex and difficult to interpret or explain. This lack of transparency, caused by the “black box” nature of these systems, can undermine trust among stakeholders and users in AI systems, especially in important decision-making situations.
  • Overreliance and decision bias: Over-reliance on AI tools without proper human oversight can lead to biases and errors. Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance between human judgment and AI assistance to prevent undue reliance or lack of responsible AI.

How Is AI Being Used in Decision Making?

 Timing for AI Deployment in Decision Making

Now comes the meat of the matter: six notable ways individuals and organizations are now applying artificial intelligence to make smarter decisions.

1. Predictive Analytics

Artificial intelligence harnesses predictive analytics to delve into historical data, identify patterns, and offer well-informed forecasts. In essence, through predictive analytics, you can build predictive models that can make predictions about future events or trends. With the continuous expansion of big data systems, companies will have access to even larger data sets, potentially boosting the precision of predictive models.

Predictive analytics empowers human decision-makers to anticipate future outcomes and take proactive steps across various domains, including sales forecasting and demand planning. Take Amazon as an example. The company developed predictive models to predict product demand based on past records, customer behavior, and market trends. This foresight allows Amazon to optimize inventory levels, streamline product management, and ensure they always have stock to meet customer needs.

There are various forms of predictive analytics. Beyond envisioning future scenarios, this technology also aids in understanding past events and the factors leading to specific outcomes. An illustrative application of this can be found in equipment maintenance management. By integrating historical breakdown analysis with real-time process metrics and operational schedules, organizations can find out the most cost-effective times to shut down equipment for necessary maintenance, thereby minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency.

2. Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Risk assessment demands meticulous planning to protect a company from potential threats. Its effectiveness largely depends on accurate data analysis. That’s why serious implications could arise if the training data is incomplete or unreliable.

AI algorithms play a crucial role in assessing and analyzing intricate risk factors, such as credit risk or cybersecurity threats. With the ability to swiftly analyze data and detect anomalies, AI systems become valuable for companies in predicting and planning responses to future threats.

For instance, banks deploy artificial intelligence for fraud prevention, while healthcare systems utilize it to prevent patient-specific diseases or community-wide epidemics. Through AI-driven risk assessment and mitigation, organizations across sectors can proactively safeguard their interests and respond effectively to emerging threats.

3. Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing (NLP) is a computer’s ability to analyze and process human language, whether it be spoken, written, or even scribbled. Its techniques facilitate data-supported decision-making processes that involve textual data like sentiment analysis, contract review, or customer feedback analysis.

Below are some key ways NLP contributes to decision-making:

  • Sentiment analysis: Go beyond analyzing information by revealing the sentiment (emotional tone) embedded in textual documents, giving valuable insights.
  • Text classification: Categorize text into predefined labels or classes, helping organize vast amounts of data into preset categories for easier comprehension and utilization.
  • Summarization: Condense lengthy documents into concise summaries, offering relevant information without the need to sift through extensive material yourself.
  • Question answering: Allow users to ask questions about various documents and data sets, then swiftly give them the answers they need.

Marketing organizations are already capitalizing on NLP to stay updated on industry trends and competitors by analyzing social media posts, websites, blogs, and more. Additionally, by examining consumer digital footprints, including social media activities, emails, browsing behavior, and search keywords, NLP helps them develop more well-targeted advertising and marketing campaigns geared towards the right audience, as well as broaden their existing customer base. NLP also assists in generating new product development ideas by analyzing loads of customer feedback satisfying users’ ever-changing needs.

What’s more, AI is changing the recruiting process with its advanced NLP capability. Intelligent resume-checking software powered by NLP plays an increasingly important role in matching candidates’ abilities, experiences, and professional backgrounds with job requirements. This streamlined, data-driven approach allows HR professionals to screen resumes efficiently and score candidate profiles with reduced bias.

4. Optimization and Resource Allocation

AI algorithms make it possible for decision-makers to efficiently allocate resources, streamline processes, and tackle complex optimization challenges. This proves beneficial in numerous domains like workforce scheduling, supply chain management, and route planning.

To illustrate, teams can optimize resources by analyzing resource availability, utilization, and performance in seconds. This analysis detects potential bottlenecks and areas where resources can be better distributed, ensuring that each team member focuses on their crucial respective tasks, which ultimately enhances overall project efficiency.

Or look at supply chain management, where AI is transforming route optimization. Managers just need to input a list of stops so that machine learning algorithms can automatically generate the most efficient routes for drivers after considering all sorts of factors like traffic conditions, weather, delivery deadlines, and customer demand.

As for route planning, one great real-world example of this is UPS, which integrated AI into its logistics operations for optimized route planning and package delivery. Its AI technology also analyzes weather conditions and traffic patterns, contributing to reduced fuel consumption, enhanced delivery automation, and improved accuracy.

5. Fraud Detection and Prevention

AI algorithms are great at analyzing vast amounts of data and pinpointing irregularities and patterns indicative of fraudulent activities. These insights assist decision-makers in fortifying their fraud detection and prevention measures, minimizing financial risks, and ensuring the safety of businesses and customers.

American Express is a good case in point, which has introduced an AI-driven system capable of analyzing billions of transactions in real time. By leveraging machine learning algorithms and big data analytics, this company can adeptly uncover suspicious patterns that signal fraudulent activity.

6. Recommender Systems

Lastly, let’s talk about AI-driven recommender systems, which can analyze user preferences, past behavior, and other contextual data to provide tailored suggestions to customers. Decision-makers can take advantage of this in many ways, with personalized recommendations in products, social media content, movies, music, e-commerce, news, etc.

Netflix is a classic instance, incorporating a very successful recommender system within its algorithm. Analyzing your viewing history of similar users, the platform can predict what content might interest you later on. The goal is to eliminate the time and frustration often associated with choosing what to watch next and also deliver a more personalized and seamless user experience.

When to Deploy AI in Decision Making?

When to Deploy AI in Decision Making?

Undoubtedly, AI proves beneficial to various business cases, though it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for every decision-making process.

So, when should we deploy AI for business decision-making, and to which degree to gain a competitive edge? Well, the answer lies in two key factors: time and complexity.

Time here means how urgently an organization needs a decision. It’s from the moment it identifies a threat or opportunity to the point of deciding and taking action. This timeframe can range from microseconds to weeks, months, or even years.

Similarly, complexity falls along a spectrum – from simple to complicated, complex, and chaotic:

  • Simple situations are stable and predictable, following clear cause-and-effect patterns, such as payroll processing or call center routing.
  • Complicated situations demand expertise or analysis to discern cause and effect, usually based on established problem-solving practices. This situation could be insurance fraud, asset management, marketing campaigning, etc.
  • Complex situations involve many relationships and interdependencies, necessitating a systemic or holistic approach with simulations to understand how decisions impact various elements. Supply chain disruption is a notable illustration.
  • Chaotic situations feature unknown causes and effects with unclear or dynamic interdependencies. Small adjustments can have huge effects. Making decisions is thus challenging and requires trial and error. Some common examples are stock market collapses, battlefields, and natural disasters.

Considering time and complexity, business leaders can determine if and to what extent they should leverage AI – whether for decision support, decision augmentation, or decision automation.

Normally, automation is ideal for simple decisions that require swift solutions within seconds to 15 minutes. In the case of complicated decisions or those needing quick resolution within minutes or hours, decision augmentation is preferable. For complex or chaotic decisions that aren’t time-sensitive, leaders are advised to opt for decision support.

Please bear in mind the limitations of AI systems above to effectively combine AI with human intelligence and discernment for your most well-informed decisions.

Transform Your Decision Making with Neurond AI

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing how business intelligence works across diverse industries. Its capacity to automate processes, analyze vast data sets, and unveil insights beyond human knowledge is remarkable. However, integrating AI into decision-making comes with challenges. For example, securing accurate and unbiased data, the black-box nature of AI, and ethical concerns regarding privacy and bias.

Neurond AI is committed to providing the most exceptional AI consulting services. Leveraging machine learning, forecasting, optimization, natural language processing, and more, we’re confident to deliver only top-notch AI solutions that empower you to make smarter, quicker, and better-informed decisions. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now!