Professional Judgment in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

There are two fundamental features of the information processing behind most efforts to substitute artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics for professionals in health and education: reductionism and functionalism. True professional judgment is at odds with the mindset of substitutive automation. Instead of reductionism, an encompassing holism is a hallmark of professional practice — an ability to integrate facts and values, respect the demands of particular cases, and to balance mission and margin in institutional decision-making. The only way these sectors can progress is to maintain a large core of professionals that intermediate between technology and the patients/students. However, the lifeblood of AI ambitions — data — is neither brute nor given. Deciding what data matters, how it is fairly and accurately collected, and how to balance quantitative and qualitative approaches to the representation of situations, will be critical and enduring roles for professionals.

Neuroscience and law within the recent Italian law on living will: which role for experts?

Where neurosciences, developing unremittingly over time, interweave with law and, in particular, with end-of-life decisions matter, severe and sensitive implications become evident. Lawyers and lawmakers cannot remain unaffected by these implications. Accordingly, a complex entanglement between science/technique, law and politics must take place. Was this alliance considered in the case of the recent Italian law on “informed consent and living will” passed by the Italian Parliament at the end of 2017? Our paper aims to pinpoint how the Italian legislator, within the decision-making process which led to the mentioned law, combined the ethical and political dimension of this matter with the scientific and neuroscientific assumptions. Did the Parliament take properly advantage from experts? How did the experts’ opinions influence the definitive version of the law approved?

Meet the New Experts: Legitimacy and Accountability Deficits in the Platform Economy

The platform economy disrupted existing paradigms, announcing the end of the experts as we know them.Licenses and permits applicable to professional services are not valued here. For quality control, consumers rely on online ratings and reviews. However, consumers rely particularly on the reviews of ‘frequent reviewers’ (e.g., Yelp Elite) or the endorsements of the so-called ‘social media influencers’. Advertising companies are also now entrusting their marketing to social media influencers rather than to professionals as these ‘regular individuals’ with millions of followers are more relatable than traditional professionals. Nonetheless, research has shown that these reviews and advice from influencers are often subjective, flawed, and irresponsible. This paper discusses the legitimacy and accountability deficit of these new experts in the platform economy and offers an interdisciplinary perspective on expertise in the platform economy.