Data-focused decision making

Program vision

Program leader: Professor David Lovell

Program co-leader: Professor Margot Brereton

The Data-focused decision making program recognises the importance of human values and critical thinking as we make decisions with, or from data.

Whether these decision are made from sensor data in real-time by an autonomous vehicle, or after lengthy reflection by human experts informed by models of historical data, it is vital for us to understand the strengths and limitations of statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence so we can use these tools judiciously to make decisions for human benefit.

Within the context of data science, this Program embraces human concerns and values — including trust, safety, privacy and fairness — and signifies our desire for the tools, methods and insights of data science to solve global challenges rather than create new ones.

As the designers and developers of technology to help us make sense of data and use those insights for positive ends, we must remember that that technology alone does not have the capacity for critical thought, i.e., thinking with a view to improve how we are thinking. We must also remember that, as human designers and developers we too have our limitations: our knowledge and wisdom are limited, as is our ability to assimilate data. The Data Focused Decision Making program envisions a future where humans and machine work in synergy.

This program connects very naturally to the other more technical and application oriented programs in the Centre in its focus at the intersection of data, information and decisions. The world needs new and improved methods of gaining insight from data; it also needs the wisdom to use those insights well.

The program draws on a range of internationally recognised strengths across QUT in areas including robotic vision, computer-human interaction, statistics, optimisation, information systems, design, digital media analysis and technology law.