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Why machine learning struggles with causality

28 Mar, 2021

When you look at the following short video sequence, you can make inferences about causal relations between different elements. For instance, you can see the bat and the baseball player’s arm moving in unison, but you also know that it is the player’s...

The Domestication of Causal Reasoning

28 Dec, 2020

1. Introduction On Wednesday December 23 I had the honor of participating in “AI Debate 2”, a symposium organized by Montreal AI, which brought together an impressive group of scholars to discuss the future of AI. I spoke on “The Domestication...

Radical Empiricism and Machine Learning Research

26 Jul, 2020

A speaker at a lecture that I have attended recently summarized the philosophy of machine learning this way: “All knowledge comes from observed data, some from direct sensory experience and some from indirect experience, transmitted to us either culturally...

Data versus Science: Contesting the Soul of Data-Science

07 Jul, 2020

SummaryThe post below is written for the upcoming Spanish translation of The Book of Why, which was announced today. It expresses my firm belief that the current data-fitting direction taken by “Data Science” is temporary (read my lips!), that the...

Race, COVID Mortality, and Simpson’s Paradox (by Dana Mackenzie)

06 Jul, 2020

Summary This post reports on the presence of Simpson’s paradox in the latest CDC data on coronavirus. At first glance, the data may seem to support the notion that coronavirus is especially dangerous to white, non-Hispanic people. However, when we take...

Artificial intelligence: The dark matter of computer vision

04 Jul, 2020

What makes us humans so good at making sense of visual data? That’s a question that has preoccupied artificial intelligence and computer vision scientists for decades. Efforts at reproducing the capabilities of human vision have so far yielded results...