When discussing human judgment and, by extension, algorithmic decisions, we are used to talking about 𝐛𝐢𝐚𝐬, but what about 𝐧𝐨𝐢𝐬𝐞?
🎯 Nobel Laureate ᴅᴀɴɪᴇʟ ᴋᴀʜɴᴇᴍᴀɴ and co-authors make a case for why we should pay close attention to it in their new book 𝑁𝑜𝑖𝑠𝑒: 𝐴 𝐹𝑙𝑎𝑤 𝑖𝑛 𝐻𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝐽𝑢𝑑𝑔𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡. It has some compelling stories to underpin how widespread the problem is in business and government with succinct illustrations. For instance, I love the target illustration and the error decompositions.
📢 The book covers group dynamics such as information cascades, social pressure, group polarization as amplifiers of noise, and some cognitive #biases to boot. Lastly, it outlines noise mitigation strategies with decision hygiene, decision observers, and noise audits, which were BY FAR the biggest takeaways for me.
😒 However, if you are already familiar with the topic, the book will likely disappoint (at least a little). It can feel very repetitive and not getting into enough depth, and its entanglement with bias means it keeps referring to concepts covered in 𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐹𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑆𝑙𝑜𝑤, as it was some long-lost final chapter. I still enjoyed it, regardless.
Have you read it? Do you want to?