Book Review – The Eye Test by Chris Jones


Algorithms are a vaccination for bravery.

I love this quote from the book The Eye Test: A Case for Human Creativity in the Age of Analytics by Chris Jones. This book is a call for people to trust their gut and creativity over algorithms and Artificial Intelligence. As someone who likes to think in formulae when making decisions, this is a fresh change. By “gut”, I am referring to experience, intuition, knowledge, and expertise. By creativity, I’m encompassing imagination.

I listened to the audiobook version and found it very strong and compelling. As a person who likes to use my brain and to think in algorithms, it served as a welcome move of my attention to my gut. What makes The Eye Test so compelling is Jones’s engaging delivery and his ability to make complex ideas easy to consume. He offers a fresh and much-needed perspective on the role of human experience and intuition in decision-making, and his insights are sure to inspire others as they did me to make better, more effective decisions.

By recognising that human creativity is an invaluable asset for decision-making, the book offers a refreshing perspective on how AI should work; as a co-pilot to humans rather than a replacement for them. This is a very topical subject that has emerged since I listened to the book. The rise of ChatGPT and the wider mainstream awareness of AI threatens to replace human intuition and creativity with machine learning and artificial thinking.

The book claims that the vast amount of data available to modern businesses can only take us so far and that the most effective decisions often require human intuition and creativity to complement data analysis. Whether the emergence of AI that we have seen has pushed out this limit a great way remains to be seen, but the point still remains.

As is the style of a good business/psychology book, it contains digestible examples and case studies to demonstrate how we should trust our “eye” in evaluating our response to problems. At its core, The Eye Test is a passionate plea for considering our own experience and intuition. It argues that we should be brave enough to stand by our decisions in the face of ever-growing algorithms and AI, recognising their limitations as well as their advantages. Jones’s message is simple yet powerful: “Algorithms are a vaccination for bravery.”

I found The Eye Test to be an encouraging reminder that human creativity can still outshine technology. It has certainly changed the way I approach decisions.

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