The human being is put at the center of digital systems for decision support

Lu Cao, who recently completed her doctorate in informatics and who focused on digital platforms for service innovation, talks about the project:

“In my doctoral project, I have started from the perspective of putting the human as user at the center of the design process itself when developing systems for decision support. It differs in this way from developing conventional AI systems. In other words, it is about starting from human needs, reinforcing human ability and not about AI replacing humans.”

Lu Cao has also developed a prototype that aims to illustrate a hybrid decision-making system.

So don't AI make better decisions than humans? Lu Cao believes that this is not the case.

“I mean that neither humans nor machines make the best decisions, but that in decision-making support systems you can take advantage of the strengths of both and based on that make better decisions,” she said.

“Humans and machines thus have different strengths when it comes to decision-making. For example, humans can use experience and intuition, which is important in decision-making, something that machines cannot. On the other hand, humans have cognitive limitations, such as memory capacity and processing data quickly,” explained Lu Cao.

She has started from a three-phase process. A "three-phase process" is a three-phase decision-making process, including, intelligence, design, and choice.  In detail:

  • phase one "intelligence": where decision-makers identifying a problem or possible improvement opportunity
  • phase two "design": where decision-makers frames the particular choice in a particular context
  • phase three "choice": where the decision-maker compares different alternatives and chooses one of them.

How will your research results benefit society?

“The knowledge is significant for the way organizations handle decision-making using digital systems and should therefore lead to better decision-making.”

How will the results be useful in the field of informatics research?

“They contribute to more knowledge about hybrid systems for human-centered decision-making. I contribute new design theories, i.e. design principles, which can reduce the gap between expectations for this type of technical decision-making system and concrete guidelines.”

In which areas can these systems be used?

“In my doctoral thesis, I have derived information from the field of IT Service Management, ITSM. The prototype I have developed is to support decisions to improve the management of ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, which is a collection of principles for managing IT services.”

What is your next step after the defense?

“I currently have no new research projects underway, but would like to continue researching hybrid systems for decision-making and with human-centered AI,” she said.

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Lu Cao has been a collaborative doctoral student at the Department of Applied Information Technology, Department of Informatics, at the University of Gothenburg under the supervision of Juho Lindman. Supervisor at the University of Borås was Professor Stefan Cronholm.

The defense took place on 10 May at the University of Gothenburg.

Researcher's profile webpage

Read the doctoral thesis: Designing human-centered hybrid decision support systems

Read more about the research area Business and IT at the University of Borås

Also read more about the reseach about digital hybrid systems at the University of Borås