We recently asked Michelle Zhou to share her thoughts on better decision making.

Dr. Michelle Zhou is a Co-Founder and CEO of Juji, Inc., an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup located in Silicon Valley, specializing in building state-of-the-art AI technologies and solutions that enable the creation and adoption of responsible and empathetic AI agents. Prior to starting Juji, Michelle led the User Systems and Experience Research (USER) group at IBM Research – Almaden and then the IBM Watson Group. Michelle’s expertise is in the interdisciplinary area of intelligent user interaction (IUI), including conversational AI systems and personality analytics. She is an inventor of the IBM Watson Personality Insights and has led the development and commercialization of at least a dozen products in her areas of expertise. Michelle has also published over 100 peer-reviewed, refereed scientific articles and 45 patents. She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University and is an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

What is your favourite, or most used, inspirational quote?

Life is Like a One-Way Train Ticket, Don’t Sleep Away the Journey Just to Wake up as You’re Pulling Into the Terminal.

What does great decision making look and feel like for you?

If you don’t regret a decision you’ve made, it’s a great decision.

Who inspires you? Why?

Ordinary people who do extraordinary things inspire me.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a better decision maker?

Whenever I need to make a decision on making a choice A vs. B, I always weigh the “allowance” of each choice as the following: if I choose one option, can I still go to the other option? For example, if I choose A, it still allows me to go back to B but if I choose B, I can never go back to A. I’ll go with A and vice versa.

What is the most effective strategy you use for keeping your Ape (your emotional reactive state) in check?

Pause for a while before reacting.

What type of decision maker are you?

I think people use different strategies for making different decisions. At one point, I may be A type decision maker, but at another point, I may be type B.


To connect with Michelle:

Email her at mzhou@juji-inc.com

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