The New Division of Labor

Humans and machines both have failings. Without knowing what they are, we cannot assess how machines and humans should work together to generate predictions. Why? Because of an idea that dates back to Adam Smith’s eighteenth-century economic thinking on the division of labor that involves allocating roles based on relative strengths. Here, the division of labor is between humans and machines in generating predictions. Understanding the division of labor involves determining which aspects of prediction are best performed by humans or machines. This enables us to identify their distinctive roles.

An old psychology experiment gives subjects a random series of Xs and Os and asks them to predict what the next one will ...

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