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Causality – The Next Most Important Thing in AI/ML

Summary:  Finally there are tools that let us transcend ‘correlation is not causation’ and identify true causal factors and their relative strengths in our models.  This is what prescriptive analytics was meant to be.


Just when I thought we’d figured it all out, something comes along to make me realize I was wrong.  And that something in AI/ML is as simple as realizing that everything we’ve done so far is just curve-fitting.  Whether it’s a scoring model or a CNN to recognize cats, it’s all about association; reducing the error between the distribution of two data sets. 

What we should have had our eye on is CAUSATION.  How many times have you repeated ‘correlation is not causation’.  Well it seems we didn’t stop to ask how AI/ML can actually determine causality. And now it turns out it can.

But to achieve an understanding of causality requires us to cast loose of many of the common tools and techniques we’ve been trained to apply and to understand the data from a wholly new perspective.  Fortunately the constant advance of research and ever increasing compute capability now makes it possible for us to use new relatively friendly tools to measure causality. 

However, make no mistake, you’ll need to master the concepts of causal data analysis or you will most likely misunderstand what these tools can do.

Read the full article by Bill Vorhies, here

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