|Photo by taha ajmi on Unsplash|
"Rationality resides in what you do" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
If you ask people why they do something, or even ask them to accurately describe what they do, the answers are clouded by self-justification and self-protection - obscuring the actual. They will tell you what they think they do (or even what they think you want to hear). They will tell you what they believe is accurate.
Observing what they do often reveals significant differences between their belief and the real.
This has obvious and applicable benefit in reducing the risk in innovation. Respond not to what people say they do or think they do, but what they actually do. A-B testing, Design Thinking and Lean Start-up methodologies are all rooted in this.
The faux rationality of conclusions drawn based on our constructs of behaviour and abstractions there-on (replete with our own cognitive biases) is where we reintroduce risk. When this doesn't fail we should far less seek to repeat - than count ourselves lucky. No-one stays lucky forever.
Mathematics does not allow for constructs or abstraction. It demands precisely defined objects and relations. Without which - no algorithm can function.
Nvidia's research into teaching robots to perform tasks by having them observe humans illustrates again how the pursuit of AI is revealing to us what is really rational about people.