Modelling and Decision-Making in an Ever-Changing World

Over 2500 years ago Heraclitus said that “the only constant in life is change”. While this is now a clichéd quote that is painted on walls (and used in conference abstracts), these words could not reflect reality more so than in our current times. The frequency of black swan events has risen dramatically over the past few decades, yet one of the core assumptions of many ML models is that future events can be captured in historical data. Coupled with the explosion of big data and data-driven processes, many decision-makers have become accustomed to ‘predictive models’ that provide singular solutions in spite of a constantly changing world.

In this talk, Annie will discuss the need for models that allow for the testing of interventions and counterfactuals (the 2nd and 3rd rungs on Judea Pearl’s Ladder of Causality) in decision-making. She will share her experience building these decision-support tools: