Automation bias - Cognitive Biases (Pt.6)steemCreated with Sketch.

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Automation bias is an over-reliance on automated aids and decision support systems. Trust and complacency develops. Erroneous automated information is favored even when accurate contradictory non-automated information is presented.

A person becomes complacent of their own ability to discern reality because they rely too much on an automated system. Instead of being aware and vigilant to seek and process information, they instead rely on it being automatically provided.

Brain power, energy and time of processing is intensive and requires effort. It's easier to let an automate system takes care of it for us. This bias seems to be more prevalent in greater cognitive workload multitasking conditions with more reliance on automated systems.

In our day and age, almost everything has an automated aspect to it, since computers are involved in so much. As long as the system is designed without errors and works almost perfect, then people tested who used automated machine assistants (AMA) usually do better then those without. However, when events are purposefully ignored by an AMA, despite there being an alternative source for being aware of the events, people who use an AMA get 59% accuracy while those who didn't rely on a faulty automated system got 97% accuracy.

Automation bias applies both in errors of omissions where people neglect information due to the system not detecting it, and also to errors of commission where the automated system explicitly directs someone towards an erroneous faulty conclusion. I'm sure many people can relate to this if you have experienced a GPS issue, at least back in the earlier days. There are other examples, such as a word processor telling you a word is misspelled. A radar-cloaked ship that can be seen with the naked eye.

As long as an event is within the programming of the automated machine assistant to handle, then we can mostly rely on the output it provides us. But we should always be weary of bugs and errors that present themselves. These systems work almost perfectly, as they were designed to, most of the time. We just need to keep an eye on them, while they help us save brain processing power and time.

I submit this age of information is fast-paced where we fracture our attention into multitasking segments. This age is also of greater convenience and complacency. This tends to lead many into uncritical thinking and over-reliance of centralization and centralized sources of information, like the mainstream media. Many people can be told anything by the media or government, and they will accept it automatically.

We have become automated, like robots, not thinking deeply beyond the conditioning and programming of social engineering. By using so much automation in our lives, we are being familiarized into favoring automation, and help us accept running the automation of our own prison labor camp. We are being led somewhere as automated beings... We need to wake up...

"The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free."
- Aldous Huxley


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Previous Cognitive Bias posts:
Anthropomorphism - Cognitive Biases (Pt.5)
Availability heuristic - Cognitive Biases (Pt.4)
Attentional Bias - Cognitive Biases (Pt.3)
Anchoring or Focusing Effect - Cognitive Biases (Pt.2)
Ambiguity Effect - Cognitive Biases (Pt.1)


Bias Category: Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases

Do you want to learn more? ---> Wikipedia list of cognitive biases


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Author: Kris Nelson / @krnel
Contact: [email protected]
Date: 2016-10-09, 10am EST

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Great post as always:)

I think some of the earliest forms of this were seen in airline disasters where the pilots became so reliant on using their automated systems that they favoured them over their own judgment.

The GPS example is interesting. I used to be really good at navigation and reading maps. Since GPS has come along I have become noticeably worse if I don't have GPS to rely on. You could say that the automation bias has lead to a loss of and atrophy of skills that I previously had.

With mobile devices doing more and more, along with things like augmented reality I think this will likely become worse.

Great post @krnel and thoughtful [email protected]

I used to know every phone number I needed, I had them all in my head. Now? It took years to remember my own mobile phone (cell) number!

Thanks for the feedback. Great additional examples. I agree, the advent of "augmented" reality is going to be something else..

"I submit this age of information is fast-paced where we fracture our attention into multitasking segments. This age is also of greater convenience and complacency. " The cost of greater convenience is jobs security as automation not only aid us, it aids corporations even more. But well, maybe complacency would help to comfort human that jobs aren't "necessary" after all... =P

Create cognitive dissonance to balance/cancel automation bias. Sour the milk

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