Today I came across the following sentence:

AI's decision-making process is usually too difficult for most people to comprehend.

It seemed weird to me because I thought that the word process required an article, since it is singular and countable. Then I noticed this 's with AI and assumed that there is no article because this AI's serves as a modifier that somehow takes the role of a determiner (and the word AI as such does not have to had an article).

So then, it should be AI's process, but the AI process, for instance in a sentence like The AI process is now optimised.

If I am correct, then it should work the other way round, too, for instance with proper nouns that aren't used with articles, so the sentences The London programme is now over and London's programme is now over should both be correct.

Am I right or I miss some point?

  • 1
    It's not weird at all, but perfectly fine and normal. "The" functions as a determiner just as genitive "Al's" does. Note that leaving aside predeterminers, it is not normally possible for a noun phrase to have two determiners.
    – BillJ
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 15:08
  • 1
    It is function, not part of speech, that is important here. Thus, it's not an article that "process" requires, but a determiner. "The decision-making process" and "Al's decision-making process" both contain determiners, i.e. "the" and the genitive "Al's.
    – BillJ
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


In English, it's not possible to have both a possessive "'s" and an article, so the "'s" takes the place of the article.

More info:
Articles are in a syntactic category called determiners. Beyond articles, this group includes "some", "no", "this", "that", and the possessive "'s", among others. For the most part, a noun can only have one determiner. In the case of your example, the determiner of "process" is "'s".

  • Re 'not possible to have both a possessive "'s" and an article?' How about A woman's work is never done. The African elephant's ears are bigger than the Indian elephant's. Commented May 27 at 3:05
  • @FumbleFingers That's on two different nouns. I mean "Woman's a work" or "African elephant's the ears". The words "work" and "ears" cannot be determined by both "'s" and an article.
    – gotube
    Commented May 29 at 20:24

It is often useful to write out a "long form":

The process of decision making of artificial intelligence


AI's decision-making process

The purpose of game playing of children

Children's game-playing purpose

As for proper nouns:

The London program and London's program are both correct but the long form is not: the program of London. And that's the difference between the phrases above and this phrase.

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