Automation bias

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 16 Sep 2021

Automation bias is a form of cognitive bias occurring when humans overvalue information produced by an automated, usually computerized, system. Users of automated systems can fail to understand or ignore illogical or incorrect information produced by computer systems.

Computer programs may create erroneous information due to any number of problems ranging from hardware design to algorithmic bias. In fact in several cases, arguably the most famous of which are those of Therac-25 1 and therapy planning software from Multidata Systems International 2, faulty software led to patient deaths.

In diagnostic radiology, automation bias has been recognized as a problem, and some academic research has been designed to quantify it 3,4 as well as explore potentially mitigating factors 5,6. Automation bias is an increasing concern in radiology as the automation of much work in the field, especially that including creation of differential diagnoses through AI, evolves. 

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