AI, Decision Science, and Psychological Theory in Decisions about People: A Case Study in Jury Selection


  • Roy Lachman



AI theory and its technology is rarely consulted in attempted resolutions of social problems. Solutions often require that decision-analytic techniques be combined with expert systems. The emerging literature on combined systems is directed at domains where the prediction of human behavior is not required. A foundational shift in AI presuppositions to intelligent agents working in collaboration provides an opportunity to explore efforts to improve the performance of social institutions that depend on accurate prediction of human behavior. Professionals concerned with human outcomes make decisions that are intuitive or analytic or some combination of both. The relative efficacy of each decision type is described. Justifications and methodology are presented for combining analytic and intuitive agents in an expert system that supports professional decision making. Psychological grounds for the allocation of functions to agents are reviewed. Jury selection, the prototype domain, is described as a process typical of others that, at their core, require the prediction of human behavior. The domain is used to demonstrate the formal components, steps in construction, and challenges of developing and testing a hybrid system based on the allocation of function. The principle that the research taught us about the allocation of function is "the rational and predictive primacy of a statistical agent to an intuitive agent in construction of a production system." We learned that the reverse of this principle is appropriate for identifying and classifying human responses to questions and generally dealing with unexpected events in a courtroom and elsewhere. This principle and approach should be paradigmatic of the class of collaborative models that capitalizes on the unique strengths of AI knowledge-based systems. The methodology used in the courtroom is described along with the history of the project and implications for the development of related AI systems. Empirical data are reported that portend the possibility of impressive predictive ability in the combined approach relative to other current approaches. Problems encountered and those remaining are discussed, including the limits of empirical research and standards of validation. The system presented demonstrates the challenges and opportunities inherent in developing and using AI-collaborative technology to solve social problems.




How to Cite

Lachman, R. (1998). AI, Decision Science, and Psychological Theory in Decisions about People: A Case Study in Jury Selection. AI Magazine, 19(1), 111.