Decision Intelligence
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Decision Intelligence for complex optimization: the road ahead

Decision Intelligence for complex optimization: the road ahead | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

What's the best price to charge?  Where should I build my new equipment?  Who should receive a loan, to minimize risk?  Which of my people should I train for what program?  Where will my philanthropic donation have the greatest impact.  These and hundreds of other decisions are informed by data, but we usually only go part of the way towards a full optimization solution.  Join this live webinar on Wednesday to find out how to go the distance.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

We've found that computers are better at some things than people are.  So there's a bit of a revolution going on in using them to bring hard evidence to complex decisions.


But we can do more. There are many problems that involve a web of interacting factors, big data, unintended consequences, virtuous and vicious cycles.  Yet for most business problems, computers take us part of the way.


We've put a lot of time and effort into getting great data visualizations , great predictions, great slices and dices of data into the brains of decision makers.


But, in many situations,  the rest is up to us.  We have to assemble the pieces in our heads.  We have to read the map, ponder over the dashboard, study the visualization.  And then make the decision, without further help.


We can do much, much better.  Just as graphical browsers removed the "cognitive friction" for the masses to use the internet, the combination of decision intelligence and optimization removes the friction for everyone to formulate, and then solve, complex problems.

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Decision Intelligence
Decision intelligence (DI) is an interdisciplinary field that solves the world's most complex problems.   DI connects human decision makers to technologies like machine learning, visual decision modeling, complex systems modeling, big data, predictive analytics, UX design, statistical analysis, business intelligence, business process management, causal reasoning, evidence-based analysis, and more. For an overview, see the webinar at http://youtu.be/XRTJt3bVCaE, and more videos at http://www.youtube.com/quantellia. Many of these topics are vigorously discussed in the Decision Intelligence LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=205078.  See http://www.lorienpratt.com/the-decision-intelligence-and-decision-engineering-ecosystem/ to learn about the emerging ecosystem of decision intelligence companies, influencers, and problems solved. Also, I offer DI and machine learning consulting services.  See http://bit.ly/1X8O2zF to learn more. Would you like to receive the DI News in email? Click here to sign up: http://bit.ly/29wYd1u
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One link think

One link think | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

In the swirl of events, I'm often left wondering if there's something deeper going on.  Our leaders seem to be increasingly missing the bigger picture.  A glimpse, here and there, into the underlying cause of dead ends we've reached: problems with capitalism, the media, politics, climate, conflict, health care.   Is there a common cause? ..."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

When I ran across George Lakoff's article on direct versus systemic causation this morning, it crystallized the "one link think" theme that keeps crossing my mind as I observe world events and think about what's missing.   New to me: the empirical evidence regarding a correlation between one- versus multi-link thinking and political preference. 

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Business School Students Are Taught to Extract Resources and Make a Quick Buck Instead of Creating Value

Business School Students Are Taught to Extract Resources and Make a Quick Buck Instead of Creating Value | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"...executives started to base all of their business decisions on the goal of boosting their firms’ stock prices. When corporations become financialized, executives turn their attention away from investing in the productive capabilities of employees, which is the basic building block for rising American living standards. They also tend to allocate fewer resources to research and development, which is where innovation happens. Instead, executives watch the stock market — in large part because their own compensation was increasingly based on the value of the company’s shares."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

1980s Wall Street->executive shift to focus on shareholder value rather than productive employees / less investment in R&D->Business schools adapted curriculum to appeal to MBAs looking for a "quick buck"->by 1990s shareholders viewed as only constituents-> today focus on Wall Street / quant / modeling rather than on focusing on how to run a business->many teachers don't understand negative impacts of shareholder value (despite Jack Welch calling it "the dumbest idea in the world".

 

My $0.02: this is also an example of an increasing focus on "hard" (e.g. financial) factors rather than "soft" (e.g. social utility) factors in the face of global complexity and competition.

 

DI relevance: look at the first line: it's about business decisions that don't include long-term and soft factors.  That's our mission, people.  Let's do this.

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Pulling Back the Curtain on #MachineLearning Apps in #Business

Pulling Back the Curtain on #MachineLearning Apps in #Business | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"There is a big mistake that many companies are making, spending too much time on their data."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Please enjoy this techemergence interview with me.  I touch on intelligence augmentation (IA), machine learning in vision, text, and other domains, the emerging decision intelligence ecosystem, the limits of data, and how to hire a machine learning consultant.

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Confessions of a former covert CIA agent - Amaryllis Fox

"Because if your enemy is a policy, no matter how complicated...that we can work with."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Believe it or not, this compelling video of a former covert CIA agent is about decision intelligence.

 

Our adversaries are humans too, with children they care about, and people they love.

 

By moving from "us vs. them" and seeking a shared vision and working towards shared synergistic outcomes through getting complex situations under control, we have a chance.  It's about policies being too complicated, and working together to fix them.

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squarebeef's comment, June 15, 3:20 AM
Helpful...!!
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Companies struggling to operationalize big data

Companies struggling to operationalize big data | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

There is a “growing gulf” between companies’ desire to embrace big data and their ability to operationalize it..."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

The explosion of big data has created an adjacent "desert": knowledge and best practices about how to translate that data into value.   This is especially true in large organizations, in areas like telecom (as shown here), health care, and government.  This article is one of many showing that this resource is vastly underutilized. 

 

Indeed, there isn't even a widely-followed practice of how to write a specification/requirement/objectives document for a project that uses big data.  Indeed, most companies begin with the data, and only later get to the use case / machine learning spec / decision modeling that will translate that data into their business objectives. 

 

This is what we do for our clients (http://bit.ly/1Ukqi98).

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How the Profound Changes in Economics Make Left Versus Right Debates Irrelevant - Evonomics

How the Profound Changes in Economics Make Left Versus Right Debates Irrelevant - Evonomics | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

...new economic thinking provides something altogether different: a new way of seeing and understanding the economic world. When viewed through the eyeglasses of new economics, the old right–left debates don’t just look wrong, they look irrelevant. New economic thinking will not end economic or political debates; there will always be issues to argue over. But it has the promise to reframe those debates in new and hopefully more productive directions....

 

New economics seeks explanations of how the economy works that have empirical validity. Thus behavioural economists run painstakingly crafted experiments to explain actual human economic behaviour. Institutional economists conduct detailed field investigations into the functions and dysfunctions of real institutions. Complexity theorists seek to understand the dynamic behaviour of the economy with computer models validated against data."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

In multiple arenas, including economics and more, an older approach - which we might call "linear" for lack of a better term - is giving way to a way of thinking that better reflects the world.

 

This article gives a good summary of what's going on from the point of view of economics.

 

For instance, the Federal Reserve did an analysis in  2006 that predicted "not much" of an impact on the economy if housing prices dropped by 20%.  This was, of course, wildly wrong.  As have been many other predictions that don't take networks, virtuous and vicious cycles, and emergence into account.

 

This is, in essence, the core of what we do in Decision Intelligence: bringing the same next level of nonlinear systems thinking to organizational decision making that this article says is starting to creep into economics. 

 

There is every reason to believe that both approaches have tremendous promise.

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A global artificial intelligence tournament to solve the stock market

A global artificial intelligence tournament to solve the stock market | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Numerai is a global artificial intelligence tournament to predict the stock market. You download our data, build a model, and upload your predictions.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Exciting! Take expensive-to-obtain stock market data, encrypt it, then allow anyone to download it and make predictions.  Run a tournament, create a hedge fund, and share earnings with the winners.

 

One question: if the data is encrypted, it's going to preclude one of the most powerful techniques for maximizing performance: feature engineering. 

 

otoh, unlike Kaggle, you don't have to disclose your intellectual property when done.   That's a very good thing.

 

See more discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/3wdr9e/numerai_a_global_ai_tournament_to_predict_the/

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Imagine a dog. Got it? I don’t. Here’s what it’s like to be unable to visualize anything.

Imagine a dog. Got it? I don’t. Here’s what it’s like to be unable to visualize anything. | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
I have never visualized anything in my entire life. I can't "see" my father's face or a bouncing blue ball, my childhood bedroom or the run I went on 10 minutes ago. I'm 30 years old, and I never knew a human could do any of this.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Written by Firefox founder Blake Ross, this is a fascinating story about a condition I'd never heard of before: "aphantasia".  It means the lack of an ability to form pictures in your head.

 

For me, it's a cautionary tale of decision making diversity: just because decision mental models are *often* visual, they are not so for everyone. So this is reinforcement to a number of conversations I've been having (one just today with Ruth Fisher and John Kelly) that emphasize the importance of story (text) as an adjunct to a good decision visualization.

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Big data is worthless without AI

Big data is worthless without AI | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

What is big data?  Where did big data come from?  Big Data analytics 1.0.  Big Data analytics 2.0.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Slides from a great talk from H2o's Erin LeDell at Oscon last week.  Good view of how machine learning and AI help organizations to extract value from big data investments.

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Lorien Pratt to speak on "Empathy: the core of complex decisions": Tickets now on sale for TEDxLivermore

Lorien Pratt to speak on "Empathy: the core of complex decisions": Tickets now on sale for TEDxLivermore | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

Conference theme is "The economics of empathy".  See main web site here: http://www.tedxlivermore.com/tedxlivermore-2016/ , and buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tedxlivermore-2016-tickets-24303286785

Lorien Pratt's insight:

I hope to see you in Livermore in June.

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The hidden intelligence behind Ouija boards

The hidden intelligence behind Ouija boards | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

The ideomotor effect says that people can move or move something without their conscious mind realizing it. In the case of the Ouija board, if you really want the answer to a question to be yes and your partner knows it, you could both push the planchette to “YES” without either of you consciously applying any force. (And if you think you can ever keep your hands completely still, try keeping a laser pointer’s dot perfectly motionless.)"

Lorien Pratt's insight:

More evidence for unconscious rationality: this time it's the "ideomotor effect": you can move things - and even do so in cooperation with others - without the conscious mind realizing it. 

 

When I throw a ball at an audience during a DI talk, and when I say that decision intelligence is meant to train our intuitions to align more effectively in complex situations, this is what I'm talking about. 

 

There's a myth that "conscious == rational" and "unconscious == irrational".  I think that Kahneman and behavioral economics have debunked the former.  And now there's an increasing understanding of the validity of may aspects of the rational unconscious. 

 

Of course, this is what Malcolm Gladwell covered in "Blink".  DI takes the cognitive science insights there and transitions them into practical applications that solve "wicked" problems.

 

In DI we do this using a combination of methods, from systems thinking, to AI, to big data, and the interconnectedness insights of Buckminster Fuller, all on a basis of improved understanding of neuroscience and cognition.

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How researchers identified a heart condition using telephone metadata and search engines alone

How researchers identified a heart condition using telephone metadata and search engines alone | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
A new study finds government surveillance of telephone metadata can easily lead to invasions of privacy.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

This is a cautionary tale for machine learning: by detecting weak signals we can discover way more than what is apparent in a raw data source.  And in this article the researchers found that it didn't even require that level of sophistication to deduce a heart condition, a gun buyer, and a woman planning an abortion: not from the content of a phone call, but from the identity of who was called as well as the timing of those calls (aka metadata /  CDRs for my telecom friends).

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Artificially Intelligent Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm

Artificially Intelligent Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Ross, the world's first artificially intelligent attorney, has its first official law firm. Baker & Hostetler announced that they will be employing Ross for its bankruptcy practice, currently comprised of almost 50 lawyers.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Congrats to my friend Bob, quoted here.   Thing are getting interesting :-)

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Sandy Gilchrist's curator insight, May 13, 4:04 AM
Before you know it, judges will also be AI - with intelligent cities, joined-up surveillance and data gathering across the Internet of Things, like cars, CCTV, ATMs, as soon as a crime is committed, it's already detected, analysed, lawyers appointed, case argued, decision, appealed, and conviction all in 23.4 seconds - and you'll find your bank account has been automatically deducted with costs as well as the fine.  Why not... anything's possible, because that's the beauty of technology.  Hmmm.  What if, er, the AI was wrong?  AI is made in our own image.  Sadly, we are not flawless, so AI too will not be flawless, even with machine learning.  We already are worried about how the run-away train of big data has affected our Privacy.  We should not let our imaginations run any more wild in thinking that laws will be created by AI... or should we.  Regardless of the dystopian outlook, there are things that you can do today to ensure your Privacy - using LifeBank to create your own master-file, off the Cloud, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.  Email info@lifebanksystems.com for more details and to place your order... 
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Now is the Time to Be Rooted In Reality

Now is the Time to Be Rooted In Reality | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"In this time of unprecedented global change, we need to be rooted in reality more than ever. Yet it is quite clear — by simply tracking all the ways people make an exodus from “the real” on a daily basis — that we are not doing this individually or as a collective humanity....there is a profound disconnect between what is needed and the outcomes we are getting....it is essential that we learn how to discern what is really going on. This means disconnecting from the endless streams of novelty on our social media feeds. It means studying the cultural logics of our political and economic systems. Deeply and thoroughly, it means understanding the history of what brought us to this period of mass turbulence that is now changing the very chemistry of our planet — and redefining our place in the world....What we aren’t doing is putting all the pieces together and acting on what we would see if we did so. As a knowledge synthesizer myself, I see where many of the patterns converge. But more watchful eyes are sorely needed. And better ways of coordinating ourselves toward collective action must follow from what we see together. This means we need a LOT more people connecting with reality.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

This is one of the best manifestos on the importance of decision intelligence I've seen.  And, like us, Joe Brewer realizes that Design is core to the solution to the problems we face.  Any friends know Joe?  Yet another tribe member to connect to the hive.... :-)

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Solving All the Wrong Problems

Solving All the Wrong Problems | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"A service that sends someone to fill your car with gas.

A service that sends a valet on a scooter to you, wherever you are, to park your car.

A service that will film anything you desire with a drone.

A service that will pack your suitcase — virtually."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

A very important article, reflecting a growing sentiment in technology circles that we need to focus on the grand challenges.  DI is a road map for bridging the two worlds: hooking in the the big data / machine learning folks complex decisions.

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Empathy Theme of TEDx Livermore

Empathy Theme of TEDx Livermore | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
TEDxLivermore team has chosen empathy as the theme for its 2016 meeting.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Join us tomorrow in Livermore

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The Economy Isn't A Machine. It's Organic and Constantly Evolving. - Evonomics

The Economy Isn't A Machine. It's Organic and Constantly Evolving. - Evonomics | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

The standard, equilibrium approach has been highly successful. It sees the economy as perfect, rational, and machine-like, and many economists – I’m certainly one – admire its power and elegance. But these qualities come at a price. By its very definition, equilibrium filters out exploration, creation, transitory phenomena: anything in the economy that takes adjustment – adaptation, innovation, structural change, history itself. These must be bypassed or dropped from the theory.

 

By the mid 1980s, many economists were ready for a change.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Core DI reading: W. Brian Arthur's overview of the history of complexity economics.  Complexity economics is very closely related to DI: the difference is DI's tighter connection to machine learning, and our emphasis on visual models that make complex models accessible to the masses.  Also, DI has a tighter focus: on the decision - than economics, which seeks to model larger systems. We share identical roots however: the core themes of emergence, systems, and complexity are essential for solving complex problems, and complexity economics is way ahead of the pack in terms of fields that understand this.

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The Real Secret of Youth Is Complexity

The Real Secret of Youth Is Complexity | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” Henry David Thoreau exhorted in his 1854 memoir Walden, in which he extolled the virtues of…
Lorien Pratt's insight:

A great illustration of antifragile principles.  And a hope for the future: the complexity we face everywhere will make us stronger.

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Emerging trends in digital marketing: 6 takeaways from Gartner Digital Marketing Conference

Emerging trends in digital marketing: 6 takeaways from Gartner Digital Marketing Conference | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
CMOs, take note: From omnichannel challenges to IoT developments, digital marketing's future looks bright ... and a little scary.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Different verticals are adopting data, analytics, and machine learning at different rates.  Digital marketing is near the start of the pack, so other industries like healthcare and telecom can learn a lot by watching its progression.  Here's a great article from my friend Karsten on the state of the art.

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Why do you make bad decisions?

Why do you make bad decisions? | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
From cognitive bias to groupthink - this chart shows what could be clouding your thinking

Via Philippe Vallat
Lorien Pratt's insight:

A nice chart with the classic biases

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Gary Bamford's curator insight, December 27, 2015 5:28 AM

Something to consider in the New Year.

Paulo Amendoeira's curator insight, February 1, 6:11 AM

Why do you make bad decisions?

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The Science of Intuition: How to Measure 'Hunches' and 'Gut Feelings'

The Science of Intuition: How to Measure 'Hunches' and 'Gut Feelings' | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"The results showed that when the participants were shown the positive subliminal images, they did better on the task: They were more accurate in determining which way the dots were moving. But they also responded more quickly and reported feeling more confident in their choice.

The experiments also suggested that the participants became better at using their intuition over time, Pearson said. "It's all about learning to use unconscious information in your brain," he said. Just as people can become more comfortable making decisions when they apply logic and reasoning, they may also become more adept at trusting their intuition when they use it more frequently over time, the study revealed. "

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Unlike previous studies, which relied primarily on questionnaires, this study used a clever subliminal design to present information to only the subconscious - and not the conscious - mind.

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The Ninth Intelligence

The Ninth Intelligence | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"In Howard Gardner's catalog of Multiple Intelligences, the Ninth Intelligence is the rarest of them all...."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

A great insight from Barry Kort.  And a beautiful little gem of a video trailer about Gregory Bateson here.  A couple of my favorite quotes:
"...He was interested in larger patterns, he was interested in how things are connected"

and

"The major problems of the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and how people think."

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New Spaceship Speed in Conway’s Game of Life

New Spaceship Speed in Conway’s Game of Life | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it

"To explain why this is such a groundbreaking discovery, I should first tell you that Life spaceships can be loosely divided into two categories. Engineered ships are the ones that consist of various small components. They often have adjustable speed. However, the population of tens of thousands to millions of cells causes these spaceships to have no practical value. There is much more incentive in hunting for elementary spaceships, which can be used for complex constructions."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Imagine you have a spreadsheet.  Some cells are black ("live"), others white.  Now you have software that updates that spreadsheet, using these simple rules:

  1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies (referred to as underpopulation or exposure[1]).
  2. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies (referred to as overpopulation or overcrowding).
  3. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives, unchanged, to the next generation.
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours will come to life.

As it turns out, there are emergent patterns from these simple rules: blinkers, "spaceships", and more.  And as shown in this article, an entire discipline has grown up around finding patterns that move, eat others, blink, and much much more.  I had no idea.

 

Why does this matter?  Because emergent patterns underlie everything.  From individual decisions made by people, individual strategies made by flocking birds, individual marketing decisions made by companies, and individual legislation introduced into governments, emerge *completely non-intuitive* patterns.

 

Understanding emergence is critical to solving the world's hardest problems, which happen as individual elements interact over time.  Much like the black and white cells on your spreadsheet.   

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Wicked problems, machine learning, and the artistic brain

"What is the future of Silicon Valley technology? Will it always be about consumer applications, advertising, and media, or will we extend this technology to the wicked problems of the world?  And what role does art and media play?"

Lorien Pratt's insight:

A grand tour of decision intelligence, with a focus on art and visual reasoning, also including what's happening in the Silicon Valley SimCenter and the Reality Stack vision

Thanks to Don Kimber of FXPAL for making it happen

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New evidence for subconscious rationality

New evidence for subconscious rationality | Decision Intelligence | Scoop.it
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Old-fashioned symbolic AI was based on the notion that reasoning happened consciously (and could be captured by logic and language).  Subsymbolic AI - of which today's (primarily neural network-based) machine learning is a subfield, recognizes that to emulate human thought, we must go beyond the consciously introspectable.

 

So what are the implications of subconscious rationality on decision intelligence?  If decisions are made "below the water line", then how can a consciously accessed thing - like a dashboard or visualization - help?  By training our subconscious reasoning. 

 

That's the core premise of DI: that we "train the brain" through rich, interactive, whole-body visualizations.  This article is good recent evidence that this is on the right track.

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