Humans are bad at making decisions. Studies show that nothing makes us unhappier than choice. From choosing which car to buy to choosing our next meal, we’re surrounded by possibilities. We’re not happy about it either, we’re exhausted. When there are dozens of pasta sauce at the grocery store, how can we be sure we’re choosing the right one?
The pessimistic answer is that we can’t. We don’t have enough information, and we don’t have enough time. What we do have, though, is technology that can help on both counts. The trick is finding the right balance between man and machine. We need to understand how AI can help, while still keeping control over our final decisions.
The Advantage of AI
We don’t need help every time we go to the grocery store. You can still make delicious spaghetti with the second-best sauce. For more important decisions, technology can play an important role.
Richard F. Thaler, from the University of Chicago, calls these “considered decisions.” He defines that as anything that needs more than 15 minutes. These decisions tax our mental strength. We may take six months to decide on a new car and still have buyer’s remorse.
AI can simplify the decision-making process for considered purchases. Unlike humans, machines don’t struggle with the anxiety of making decisions. Nor do they fear making the wrong choice. They check all available options based on the goal and provide the best choice. Machines have it easy, though. They have access to more data than any human can process.
A great example is when, powered by AI, Deep Blue beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov. The computer looked at every possible move and analyzed its outcome to the end of the game. In seconds, it knew the perfect move. Humans can’t do this. We have limited memories. We have to take shortcuts. If we do want to optimize our own choices, we need to ask for help from AI and big data.
How AI Helps Keep Things Simple
When people make big purchasing decisions like a home or a car, they usually start with a few fixed requirements. Maybe they know what state they want to live in and how many bedrooms they need. Maybe they know what make of car they want but aren’t sure on the model.
The next step is where it gets complicated. How can they narrow down hundreds or thousands of options to just one? There’s simply too much information to sort through. To make things worse, the information is spread across too many different places. There are too many windows and tabs to open up on the computer without getting lost.
Instead of opening up dozens of websites, what if AI could do the research for us? What if AI understood what we were looking for and nudged us in the right direction? Well, it already can.
That’s the kind of innovation that we’re creating at Vast. Our products combine AI technology with subject matter expertise on cars and homes. Our customers know something about what specs they’re looking for. Vast helps them with the rest.
Our AI knows what options are out there, analyzes the data, and interprets the choices. The outcome is a set of recommendations matched to the customer’s preferences.
Making Better Decisions in Less Time
As society rushes to do more, we often make mistakes or poor choices. This all comes at a time when we have access to more data, not less.
AI makes sure that doesn’t happen. It helps customers make the best decisions possible. Not only can they make more informed choices, but they can do it in less time.
Without AI, we may end up with the worst case scenario: making no decision at all.