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DEC 5, 2012 8:37am ET

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The Future of Data Wisdom

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I recently finished reading the TED Book by Jim Hornthal, “A Haystack Full of Needles,” which included an overview of the different predictive approaches taken by one of the most common forms of data-driven decision making in the era of big data, namely, the recommendation engines increasingly provided by websites, social networks, and mobile apps.

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Comments (2)
Excellent piece Jim. I think that, as you describe, the wisdom of crowds, friednds and experts will converge (eventually). I also think that in order for this to happen and be most effective, there must be a recognition that correlations need to be combined with causality. Right now, I don't feel that machine learning has progressed to the point where causality can be determined in a consistent way which means that we'll always have to rely on those pesky humans to make sense of it all.
Posted by Mike W | Wednesday, December 12 2012 at 4:56PM ET
Thanks for your comment, Mike.

The intersection of crowds, friends, and experts will certainly generate a lot of correlations, many of which will provide little to no predictive value. Causality often alludes both computers and humans. Data-driven decision making will require combining all potential signals while needing all the help it can get to filter out the noise. Sometimes that help will come more from the computers, and other times that help will come more from the humans, but as you noted, both machine and man have to be involved in the learning process.

Best Regards,

Jim

Posted by Jim H | Wednesday, December 12 2012 at 7:58PM ET
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