Information literacy deep dive: An introduction to AI, ML and prediction literacy

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Did you miss a session on the Information Summit? Watch On-Demand Right here.


This text was contributed by Invoice Schmarzo, the Dean of Large Information

Information, AI, ML and prediction literacy are basic expertise in a world the place your private information, and the preferences and biases hidden in that information, are getting used to affect your behaviors, beliefs, and selections. It’s not simply firms that want this coaching.  Information literacy ought to be taught in center colleges, in excessive colleges, in universities and even in grownup schooling and nursing properties.

Within the first article of this two-part collection, I launched the 4 levels of the Information Literacy Instructional Framework, a framework that organizations, universities, excessive colleges, and even grownup education schemes can use to create extra holistic information literacy coaching.  In that article, I mentioned the primary two levels:

  • Information Consciousness, which talked about how everybody must be conscious how their private information is being captured and used to affect or manipulate how we predict and the choices that we make.
  • Choice Literacy, which mentioned how people make fashions of varied complexity to make extra knowledgeable and correct selections.
Determine 1: Information Literacy Schooling Framework

Now I need to full the framework by discussing the third (AI/ML literacy) and fourth levels (prediction and statistical literacy) of the Information Literacy Schooling Framework.

3. AI/ML literacy

My article, “The Rising Significance of Information and AI Literacy – Half 2” broadened the information literacy dialog by introducing AI (Synthetic Intelligence) and ML (Machine Studying) Literacy; that’s, an introduction into how AI and ML fashions work.

AI/ML Literacy is knowing how AI/ML fashions work as they search to optimize the KPIs and metrics that comprise the AI/ML Utility Operate (and round which the AI/ML mannequin measures resolution effectiveness) because it constantly learns and adapts from the interactions with its atmosphere.

An AI mannequin seeks to optimize its AI Utility Operate – the KPIs and metrics in opposition to which the AI mannequin’s progress and success will likely be measured – because the AI mannequin interacts with its atmosphere.  The AI Utility Operate offers constructive and adverse suggestions to the AI mannequin (utilizing stochastic gradient descent and backpropagation) in order that the AI mannequin can constantly study and adapt its operations within the seek for making the “proper” or “optimum” selections or actions.

Determine 2: How Synthetic Intelligence (AI) Works

The AI mannequin is skilled and learns via the next course of:

  • The AI Engineer (in very shut collaboration with the enterprise stakeholders) defines the AI Utility Operate – the KPIs and metrics in opposition to which the AI mannequin’s progress and success will likely be measured.
  • The AI mannequin operates and interacts inside its atmosphere utilizing the AI Utility Operate to assemble suggestions to constantly study and adapt its operations (utilizing again propagation and stochastic gradient descent to consistently tweak the mannequin’s weights and biases).
  • The AI mannequin seeks to make the “proper” or “optimum” selections, as framed by the AI utility operate, because the AI mannequin interacts with its atmosphere.

The AI mannequin seeks to maximise “rewards” based mostly upon the definitions of “worth” as articulated within the AI utility operate.

Determine 3: The AI Utility Operate

The AI utility operate assigns values to sure actions that the AI system can take.  An AI mannequin’s preferences over doable motion might be captured by a operate that maps these outcomes to a utility worth; the upper the worth, the extra the AI mannequin likes that motion. When it comes to AI literacy, defining the AI utility operate is essential to AI mannequin operational effectiveness and relevance as a result of AI methods are principally dumb methods that can constantly search to optimize across the variables and metrics which can be outlined within the AI utility operate.

4. Prediction (and statistical) literacy

A prediction is an announcement concerning the probability of a future occasion.

Predictions are pure, on a regular basis occurrences.  We watch the information for predictions about tomorrow’s climate.  We use GPS apps for predictions about how lengthy it’ll take to drive to the movie show.  We learn columns from sports activities specialists who present predictions about whether or not your favourite sports activities workforce will win.  And in every of those conditions, a human or machine “knowledgeable” is mixing the patterns, traits, and relationships buried within the historic information with present operational, environmental, monetary, and societal information to make that prediction.

Prediction Literacy is knowing how we leverage patterns, traits, and relationships to attempt to make predictions about what’s more likely to occur in order that we are able to make extra correct selections.

We inherently know that how folks or units carried out previously is very predictive of how these people and units will carry out sooner or later.  Look no additional than the infield shift in baseball, the place baseball coaches place their infielders to infield areas the place the batter is predicted to most definitely hit the baseball.

Determine 4: Infield Shift in Baseball Based mostly upon Batter Hitting Predictions

And whereas the SEC warns traders {that a} fund’s previous efficiency doesn’t essentially predict future outcomes, we additionally know that well-managed funds over time outperform poorly managed funds (and hopefully direct our investments accordingly and never put money into that newest, sizzling monetary pattern).

This subsequent part will probably make people cringe a bit, to raised obtain Prediction Literacy, we’re going to a fast primer on the fundamentals of statistics.  Sorry about that.

Key statistical ideas

Statistics is the apply or science of accumulating and analyzing numerical information in giant portions, particularly to inferring proportions in an entire from these in a consultant pattern.

We inherently know that predictions concerning the future are by no means 100% correct.  Making predictions about what’s more likely to occur relies upon chances, confidence ranges, and confidence intervals.

Chance is the probability (from 0% to 100%) that one thing goes to occur or that one thing is true.

For instance, the likelihood of Barry Bonds getting a success in his 2004 season with the San Francisco Giants was 36.2% (36.2 hits for each 100 at-bats), and his likelihood of getting on base when he batted that very same season was 60.9% (60.9 hits or walks for each 100 at-bats…which is completely a surprising statistic).

Since predictions occur inside a spread (as a result of predictions aren’t 100% certainty), we leverage variances within the information to assemble these confidence intervals utilizing confidence ranges.

Variance, measures the variability of the numbers or observations from the typical or imply of that very same set of numbers or observations

Confidence stage is the share of occasions you count on to breed an estimate between the higher and decrease bounds of the boldness interval

Confidence interval is the vary of values that you just count on your estimate to fall between a sure share of the time when you run your experiment once more or re-sample the inhabitants in the identical approach.

Determine 5: Averages + Variances Yield Confidence Intervals

Whereas statistics might be nobody’s favourite subject (besides each my actuarial buddies), we have to perceive primary statistical ideas in order that we are able to make knowledgeable selections in a world of incomplete and even conflicting info.

Here’s a hyperlink that gives a pleasant overview of further and essential statistical ideas: “The 8 Fundamental Statistics Ideas for Information Science” by Shirley Chen.

The significance of essential pondering

Vital Pondering is the considered and goal evaluation, exploration and analysis of a difficulty or a topic so as to type a viable and justifiable judgment.

In an age when information and even photographs might be so simply manipulated, it is very important keep a wholesome skepticism.  Listed below are some easy essential pondering guidelines that may enable you make extra knowledgeable selections and keep away from catastrophic decisions (which nonetheless doesn’t clarify me being a Chicago Cubs fan).

  • By no means settle for the preliminary reply as the precise reply. It’s too simple to take the preliminary consequence and suppose that it’s adequate. However adequate is normally not adequate, and one wants to take a position the effort and time to discover if there’s a higher “adequate” reply.
  • Be skeptical. By no means settle for somebody’s “assertion of truth” as “truth.” Study to query what you learn or hear. It’s very simple to simply accept at face worth no matter somebody tells you, however that’s an indication of a lazy thoughts. And study to discern information from opinions. what they are saying about opinions…
  • Think about the supply. When you find yourself gathering necessities, think about the credibility, expertise and perhaps most significantly, the agenda of the supply. Not all sources are of equal worth, and the credibility of the supply is very dependent upon the context of the state of affairs (see the article “Causes Why Medical doctors Can’t Handle Cash”).
  • Don’t get completely happy ears. Don’t pay attention for the reply that you just need to hear. As an alternative, give attention to listening for the solutions that you just didn’t count on to listen to. That’s the second when studying actually begins.
  • Embrace struggling. The simple reply isn’t all the time the precise reply. In truth, the straightforward reply is seldom the suitable reply on the subject of advanced conditions confronted not on this planet of knowledge science, but in addition confronted in society and the enterprise world.
  • Keep curious; have an insatiable urge for food to study. That is very true in a world the place applied sciences are altering so quickly. Curiosity might have killed the cat, however I wouldn’t need a cat making selections for me anyway.
  • Apply the reasonableness take a look at. Is what you’re studying making sense from what you could have seen or learn elsewhere (sorry, the Pope didn’t vote within the final US election)? And whereas applied sciences are altering so quickly, society norms and ethics actually aren’t.
  • Pause to suppose. Discover a quiet place the place you may sequester your self away to actually take into consideration the whole lot that you just’ve pulled collectively. Take the time to suppose and ponder earlier than speeding to the reply.
  • Battle is nice…and mandatory. Life is filled with tradeoffs that require placing a fragile stability between quite a few competing elements (enhance one issue whereas decreasing one other). A majority of these conflicts are the gasoline for innovation (see the weblog “Embracing Battle to Gas Digital Innovation” for extra particulars).
Determine 6: Vital Pondering and Changing into “College students of Information Science”

AI, prediction and information literacy: Life is about bettering the percentages earlier than rolling the cube

Information Literacy is an consciousness of how our private information is being utilized by organizations which can be utilizing superior analytics to uncover our private preferences and biases to affect the possibilities round which you make your selections.

The Information Literacy Schooling Framework is comprised of 4 topic areas:

  • Information Consciousness, which talked about how everybody wants to pay attention to how their private information is being captured and used to affect or manipulate how we predict and the choices that we make.
  • Choice Literacy, which mentioned how people make fashions of varied complexity to make extra knowledgeable and correct selections.
  • AI/ML Literacy is knowing how AI/ML fashions work as they search to optimize the KPI’s and metrics that comprise the AI/ML Utility Operate (and round which the AI/ML mannequin measures resolution effectiveness) because it constantly learns and adapts from the interactions with its atmosphere.
  • Prediction Literacy is knowing how we leverage patterns, traits, and relationships to try to make predictions about what’s more likely to occur in order that we are able to make extra correct selections.

Lastly, life is about rolling the cube, as there aren’t any ensures that you just’ll get the outcomes you count on. Each time you drive a automotive, each time you stroll throughout the road, each time you fly in an airplane, you’re rolling the cube.

Sporting a seatbelt gained’t assure that you just gained’t die in a automotive accident. Sporting a motorbike helmet gained’t assure you gained’t get harm in a biking accident. Getting the COVID-19 vaccination gained’t assure that you just gained’t catch COVID-19. It’s all about rolling the cube.

Backside line: the sensible facet of knowledge literacy is knowing how chances work and what we are able to do with analysis and evaluation to make knowledgeable selections that enhance the percentages in order that after we do roll the cube, we get an final result we anticipated and might dwell with. Your private success (and finally the success of humankind) is very dependent upon that understanding.

Invoice Schmarzo is an creator, educator, innovator and influencer with a profession that spans greater than 30 years.

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