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talljasperman's avatar

Will we ever be able to come up with an algorithm for leadership?

Asked by talljasperman (18819 points ) July 26th, 2014

From this earlier question ?

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9 Answers

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Firstly, I may have a different definition of thinking than most. It seems to me that the computer which was on Jeopardy, I’m sure everyone but me can remember its name, was thinking. Its thinking was limited, but thinking nonetheless. It used the question to search foe possible related data. Sometimes it came up like a bad GPS, but so do many humans. It used available information, sorted the best possibilities, and answered the question with the best fit it could find. What it lacks, however, is the ability to compute for the human element. What causes the greatest hubub when election campaigns are going? Opinion. Who can best recognize the opinions of humans, determine which personality types will react most strongly, and appeal most strongly to the masses based on how they face those opinions and reactions.
Computers are used now everyday to aid in the decision making processes for leadership roles. Putting one in charge has little to do with programming and think capacity. It comes down to whether it could meet the emotional demands and trust of humans.
That said, wouldn’t it be cool?

Pachy's avatar

I strongly doubt it. Far too many variables.

jerv's avatar

If there is an algorithm involved, you have the exact opposite of leadership skills.

Leadership is more intuition than logic, so making it more logical will make it stray away from the qualities of a good leader. A GPS may tell you the shortest driving route, but it won’t know things about the city that make that route the stupidest way to go. Trying to turn leadership into an equation is like that, and the worst human leaders there are are the ones that go according to formulas and deterministic rules rather than judgment and intuition.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^ Agree.

This is specifically addressed in the Harvard School of Business Review, Leadership Development in the Age of the Algorithim It is in downloadable pdf and a very interesting read.

Mariah's avatar

Something as nebulous and abstract as gaining influence is not a systematic step by step task, so no, it doesn’t lend itself well to being done algorithmically.

Bill1939's avatar

A leader needs to have a good understanding of the activities required of those being lead. Computer guiding industrial robots seem to fit that requirement. A leader needs to be able to foresee interruptions in scheduled operations and, if not able to prevent it, devise a way to work around it. A computer could be programmed creatively to minimize downtime. However, given the unforeseeable can the computer quickly respond intuitively?

Intuition: ” The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition.” (The American Heritage Dictionary) Our brains cannot reach conclusions as fast as computers can, the limited speed of a nerve impulse and the use of rational processes delay the process. What appears from intuition has its basis brain activity and not from an external source (imho). It seems like intuition is a relative disadvantage.

While a single algorithm is incapable of accomplishing @talljasperman‘s goal, enough interconnected algorithms might be. Maybe it already has, but not in computers.

jerv's avatar

@Bill1939 The computers that guide industrial machinery are often quite unaware. That goes double for Handtmann CNC mills. My mantra is, “It’ll do exactly what you tell it, so choose your words carefully.”. I feel they do not fit that requirement as I’ve seen them mess up in interesting ways even on simple things.

LostInParadise's avatar

Since leadership is all about making decisions, having an algorithm for leadership implies an algorithm for making the necessary decisions. If such a thing were possible, and I have strong doubts, there would not be a need for leaders.

Bill1939's avatar

@jerv I understand the principle of GIGO and the outcome exacerbated by devices under the computer’s control. However, the art of computer control is evolving. Sensory components provide information necessary for self mobility and programs that utilize experience (feedback from sensors) to modify programming, though early in development, exist now. It may be possible for evolving computer functions to approach sentience.

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