HKS Affiliated Authors


January 10, 2023, Opinion: "Developing analytics science methods that can enable combining the power of artificial and human intelligence has brought the concept of centaurs from myth to reality.  In the Greek mythology, centaurs are half-human and half-horse creatures (see the figure above). In the modern analytics science, they refer to systems that allow superior decision-making by combining the power of both humans and trained algorithms. One of the main users in the U.S. has been the Defense Department, which has been working with tech companies to combine the power of algorithms with the capabilities of humans [1]. The concept has attracted the attention of the U.S. military, both in research programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Pentagon’s third-offset strategy for military advantage [2]. Robert O. Work, for example, who was the deputy secretary of defense under Presidents Trump and Barack Obama, advocated for the idea of centaur weapons systems, which would require human control, instead of pure AI-based systems, and could combine the power of AI with the capabilities of humans [3]."