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Workshop
“Do the right thing”: machine learning and causal inference for improved decision making
Michele Santacatterina · Thorsten Joachims · Nathan Kallus · Adith Swaminathan · David Sontag · Angela Zhou

Sat Dec 14 08:00 AM -- 06:00 PM (PST) @ West Ballroom C
Event URL: http://tripods.cis.cornell.edu/neurips19_causalml/ »

In recent years, machine learning has seen important advances in its theoretical and practical domains, with some of the most significant applications in online marketing and commerce, personalized medicine, and data-driven policy-making. This dramatic success has led to increased expectations for autonomous systems to make the right decision at the right target at the right time. This gives rise to one of the major challenges of machine learning today that is the understanding of the cause-effect connection. Indeed, actions, intervention, and decisions have important consequences, and so, in seeking to make the best decision, one must understand the process of identifying causality. By embracing causal reasoning autonomous systems will be able to answer counterfactual questions, such as “What if I had treated a patient differently?”, and “What if had ranked a list differently?” thus helping to establish the evidence base for important decision-making processes.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experts from different fields to discuss the relationships between machine learning and causal inference and to discuss and highlight the formalization and algorithmization of causality toward achieving human-level machine intelligence.

This purpose will guide the makeup of the invited talks and the topics for the panel discussions. The panel discussions will tackle controversial topics, with the intent of drawing out an engaging intellectual debate and conversation across fields.

This workshop will lead to advance and extend knowledge on how machine learning could be used to conduct causal inference, and how causal inference could support the development of machine learning methods for improved decision-making.

Author Information

Michele Santacatterina (TRIPODS Center for Data Science - Cornell University)
Thorsten Joachims (Cornell)
Nathan Kallus (Cornell University)
Adith Swaminathan (Microsoft Research)
David Sontag (MIT)
Angela Zhou (Cornell University)

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