AI <-> Humans?

Corey Malone
2 min readApr 24, 2019

After reading “The Algorithmic Leader” I still had a lot of questions about AI and being a leader. I thought about the frequent flyer programs that Airlines have and the game that users play.

An Airline may create an algorithm to prioritize seating, upgrades, standby, who gets kicked off the plane, etc. Then people come to together in forums such as FylerTalk to discuss their experience in dealing with those specific algorithms. Some are trying to understand the algorithm or business process to figure out what to expect, others are trying to maximize their benefit from their status or from their flight.

What’s interesting to me, is how humans can come together to try and create a shared mental model or understanding of how a system operates and share the knowledge with the community to benefit all. But it can create a cat and mouse game, those “gaming” the system vs those who are doing what the airline wants.

Some companies will share the details of the algorithms in some form through marketing, spinning it to show the benefit to the customer, when in reality we know they had to balance business KPIs vs user goals.

As algorithms get even more complex and more unexplainable, how will we will reconcile this in our head? Will we throw our hands up and give the machine free rein or will demand that humans take manual control of the machines when necessary?

What if instead of using “big data” to run algorithms, we came together with our big data to keep them in check? For example: All the passengers in a flight connect their email to this service. The service then provides transparency to all the passengers in the flight, on what is happening exactly. What if a notification is provided of how many passengers were offloaded? What if an instant chat room created when the flight is delayed to complain and come together? What if they came together to help a family sit together?

What if all the patients in the doctor office found out they were all scheduled at 9:00am and there was only one doctor?

What if everyone found out there was really only 5% of flights on sale despite a big promotion that made the sale seem huge?

What if companies were transparent about these from the get go and we didn’t need this kind of thing? Do we even need it?



Corey Malone

Developer turned UX. Like to ask big questions. Love traveling, coffee and great food.