Human judgment: Possibly the greatest black box in forecasting

Forecasters are often critical of “black box” forecasts. When a forecaster cannot trace the numbers from input to output using simple math, the forecast is deemed an untrustworthy “black box”. On the face of it, this criticism seems fair. However, the evidence shows that using well-validated forecasting algorithms—rather than relying on human judgment—produces more accurate forecasts. Moreover, because human judgment relies on intuition and can be swayed by hidden motivations and complexities, human judgment might just be the ultimate black box.


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