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A Guide to Using AI Responsibly

"The artificial intelligence (AI) that we develop is impacting people directly or indirectly. And often, they don’t deserve the consequences of those impacts, nor have they asked for it. It is incumbent upon us to make sure that we are doing the right thing”.- Dr. Anthony Franklin, Senior Data Scientist and AI Engineer, MicrosoftDigitally addressing a live global audience in a recent webinar on the topic of ‘Responsible AI’, Dr. Anthony Franklin, a senior data science expert and AI evangelist from Microsoft, spoke about the challenges that society faces from the ever-evolving AI and how the inherent biased nature of humans is reflected in technology.Drawing from his experience in machine learning, risk analytics, analytics model management in government as well as data warehouse, Dr. Franklin shed light on the critical need to incorporate ethics in developing AI. Citing examples from various incidents that have taken place around the world, Dr. Franklin emphasized why it is critical for us to have an uncompromising approach towards using AI responsibly. He talked about the human (over)indulgence in technology, the challenges that society faces from the ever-evolving AI and how the inherent biased nature of humans is reflected through technology.The purpose of the talk and this article is to help frame the debate on responsible AI with a set of principles we can anchor on, and a set of actions we can all take to advance the promise of AI in ways that don’t cause harm to people. In this article, we present key insights from the webinar along with the video for you to follow along.KnowledgeHut webinar on Responsible AI by Dr. Anthony Franklin, MicrosoftWhat is the debate about?These are times when we can expect to see policemen on the streets wearing AI glasses, viewing, and profiling the public. Military organizations today, can keep an eye on the public. Besides, a simple exercise of googling the word CEO, would result in pages and pages showing white men.These are just some of the examples of the unparalleled success we have achieved in technology coupled with the fact that the same technology has overlooked the basic ethics, moral and social.Responsible AI is a critical global needIn a recent study conducted from among the top ten technologically advanced nations, nearly nine of ten organizations across countries have encountered ethical issues resulting from the use of AI.Artificial intelligence has captured our imagination and made many things we would have thought impossible only a few years ago seem commonplace today. But AI has also raised some challenging issues for society writ large. We are in a race to advance AI capabilities and everything is about collecting data. But, what is being done with the data?Advancements in AI are different from other technologies because of the pace of innovation and its proximity to human intelligence – impacting us at a personal and societal level.While there remains no end to this ever-ending road of development, the need for us to ensure an equally powerful framework has increased even more. The need for a responsible AI is a critical global need.What developers are saying about ethics in AIStack Overflow carried out a couple of anonymous developer focused surveys in 2018. Some of the responses are a clear indication of how the machine is often so powerful. While we wish the answers were all "No", the actual answers are not too surprising.1. What would the developers do if asked to write a code for an unethical purpose?The majority (58.5 percent) stated they would clearly decline if they were to be approached to write code for an unethical purpose. Over a third (37 percent), however, said they would do if it met some specific criteria of theirs.2. Who is ultimately responsible for the code which accomplishes something unethical?When asked with whom the ultimate responsibility lies if their code were to be used to accomplish something unethical, nearly one fifth of the developers acknowledge that such a responsibility should lie with the developer who wrote the code. 23 percent of the developers stated that this accountability should lie with the person who came up with the idea. The majority (60 percent), however, felt that the senior management should be responsible for this.3. Do the developers have an obligation to consider the ethical implications?A significant majority (80 percent) acknowledged that developers have the obligation to consider ethical implications. Though in smaller numbers, the above studies show the ability of the developers to get involved in unethical activity and the tendency to brush off accountability. Thus, there is a great and growing need not just for developers, but also for the rest of us to work collectively to change these numbers.The six basic principles of AIThough ambiguous, the principles attached with the ethics of AI remain very much tangible. Following are the six basic principles of AI:1. FairnessFairness (noun)the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice; evenhandednessDiscriminationOne of the many services which Amazon provides today includes the same-day-shipping policy. The map below shows the reach of the policy in the top 6 metropolitans in the US.Source: Bloomberg   In the city of Boston, one can see the gaps, the places where the service is not provided. Coincidentally, these areas turned out to be areas inhabited by individuals belonging to the lower economic strata. In defence, the Amazon stated that the policy was meant primarily for regions with denser Amazon users. Whichever way this is seen, the approach still ends up being discriminatory.We see examples of bias in search as well. When we search for “CEO” in Bing, we see that all pictures are pictures of mostly white men, creating the impression that there are no women CEOs.RacismWe see examples of bias across different applications of AI. An image of an Asian American was submitted for the purpose of renewing the passport. After analysing the subject, the application’s statement read “Subjects eyes are closed”.This highlights the unintentional, but negatively impactful working of a data organization. It further goes on to show how an inherent bias held by humans, transcends into the technology we make.An algorithm widely used in US hospitals to allocate healthcare to patients has been systematically discriminating against black people, a sweeping analysis has found.The study, published in Science in October 2019, concluded that the algorithm was less likely to refer black people than white people who were equally sick, to programmes that aim to improve care for patients with complex medical needs. Hospitals and insurers use the algorithm and others like it to help manage care for about 200 million people in the United States each year.As a result, millions of black people have not been able to get equal medical treatment. To make things worse, data suggests that in some way or the other, the algorithms have been set up to make money.In 2015, Google became one of the first to release a facial recognition programme. The system recognized the Caucasians perfectly well, but the same system identified a black person with an ape.These examples of bias in technologies are not isolated from the society we live in. The society we live in has different forms of biases that may not consistent with a corporation’s values, but these biases may already be prevalent in their data sets.With the widespread use of AI and statistical learning, such enterprises are at serious risk not only of spreading but also amplifying these biases in ways that they do not understand.These examples demonstrate gross unfairness on multiple fronts, making it necessary for organizations to have a more diverse data in general.2. Reliability and SafetyReliability (noun)the ability to be relied on or depended on, as for accuracy, honesty, or achievement.Safety (noun)the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss. the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss.In the case of an autonomous vehicle, when can we as a consumer be 100% sure of our safety? Or can we ever be? How many miles does a car have to cover or how many people are to lose their lives before the assurance of the rest?In the case of autonomous vehicles, how can we as consumers be 100 percent sure of our safety? Or can we ever be? How many miles does a car have to cover or how many people are to lose their lives before the assurance of the rest? These are just a few of the questions a company must answer before establishing themselves as a reliable organization.A project from scientists in the UK and India shows one possible use for automated surveillance technology to identify violent behavior in crowds with the help of camera-equipped drones.In a paper titled “Eye in the Sky,” the researchers used uses a simple Parrot AR quadcopter (which costs around $200) to transmit video footage over a mobile internet connection for real-time analysis. A figure from the paper showing how the software analyzes individuals poses and matches them to “violent” postures. The question is: how will this technology be used, and who will use it?Researchers working in this field often note there is a huge difference between staged tests and real-world use-cases. Though this system is yet to prove itself, it is a clear illustration of the direction contemporary research is going.Using AI to identify body poses is a common problem, with big tech companies like Facebook publishing significant research on the topic. Many experts agree that automated surveillance technologies are ripe for abuse by law enforcement and authoritarian governments.3. Privacy and securityPrivacy (noun)the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion:the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone:Security (noun)freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.something that secures or makes safe; protection; defense.Strava’s heat map revealed military bases around the world and exposed soldiers to real danger – this is not AI per se, but useful for a data discussion. A similar instance took place in Russia, too.The iRobot’s latest Roomba’s i7+ Robovac maps users’ homes to let them customize the cleaning schedule. An integration with Google Assistant lets customers give verbal commands like, “OK Google, tell Roomba to clean the kitchen.” - this is voluntary action and needs user’s consent.In October 2018, the company admitted it had exposed the personal data of around 500,000 Google+ users, leading to the closure of the platform. It also announced it was reviewing access to Gmail by third-party companies after it was revealed that many developers were reading and analyzing users’ personal mail for marketing and data mining.A 2012 New York Times article, spoke about a father who found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to apologize to a Target employee. Earlier, he had stormed into a store near Minneapolis and complained to the manager that his daughter was receiving coupons for cribs and baby clothes in the mail. It turned out that Target knew his teen daughter better than he did. She was pregnant and Target knew this before her dad did.By crawling the teen’s data, statisticians at Target were able to identify about 25 products that, when analysed together, allowed them to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More importantly, they could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so they could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.There was another instance reported in Canada of a mall using facial recognition software in their directories June to track shoppers' ages and genders without telling them.4. InclusivenessInclusiveness (adjective)including or encompassing the stated limit or extremes in consideration or account (usually used postpositively)including a great deal, or encompassing everything concerned; comprehensiveIn the K.W vs Armstrong case, the plaintiffs were vulnerable adults living in Idaho, facing various psychological and developmental disabilities. They complained to the court when the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reduced their medical assistance budget by a whopping 42%.The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare claimed that the reasons for the cuts were “trade secrets” and refused to disclose the algorithm it used to calculate the reductions.Once a system is found to be discriminatory or otherwise inaccurate, there is an additional challenge in redesigning the system. Ideally, government agencies should develop an inclusive redesign process that allows communities affected by algorithmic decision systems to meaningfully participate. But this approach is frequently met with resistance.5. TransparencyTransparency (adjective)having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen. admitting the passage of light through interstices. so sheer as to permit light to pass through; diaphanous. easily seen through, recognized, or detectedA company in New Orleans assisted the police officials to predict the individuals and their likelihood of committing crimes. This is the example of the usage of predictive analytics for policing strategies, carried out secretively.In the Rich Caruana case study, 10 million patients data, and 1000’s of features were used to train a model on the data to predict the risk of pneumonia and decide whether patients must be sent to hospital. But was this model safe to deploy and use on real patients? Was the test data sufficient to make accurate predictions?Unfortunately, a bunch of different machine learning models had been used to train an accurate black box, without knowing what was inside. Multitask neural net was thought to be the most accurate, but was the approach safe?The pattern in the data, strictly speaking, was accurate. The good news was that the treatment was so effective that it lowered the risk of dying compared to the general population. However, the bad news was that if we used this model to make decisions about whether to admit the patient to the hospital, it would be dangerous to asthmatics and hence, not at all safe to use.Not only is this an issue of safety, but also a case of violation of transparency. The key problem is that there are bad patterns we don’t know about. While neural net is more accurate and can learn things fast, one doesn’t know everything that the neural net is using. We really need to understand the model before we deploy it.Now, through a technique called Generalized Additive Models, whereby the influence of individual attributes in the training data can be independently measured, a new model has been trained where the outputs are completely transparent, but actually improved performance over the old model.Asthmatics were now being sent home sooner because they were rushed to the front of the line as soon as they arrived at the hospital. Faster and more targeted care led to better results. And all the model learned from were the results.In another instance, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim.As part of the discovery process in the trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir.6. AccountabilityAccountability (adjective)subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable. capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.Like in the example of autonomous vehicles, in case of any mishap, where does the accountability lie? Who is to be blamed for the loss of lives or any sort of destruction in a driverless car?It appears that the more advanced the technology, the faster it is losing its accountability. Be it a driverless car crashing or a robot killing a person, the question remains: who is to blame.Whom does one sue if I were to get hit by a driverless car? What if a medical robot gives a patient the wrong drug? What if a vacuum robot sucks up one's hair while they are napping on the floor? And can a robot commit a war crime? Who gets to decide whether a person deserves certain treatment in an algorithm-based health care policy? Is it the organization which developed it or the developer who made it? There is a clear case of lack of accountability in such situations.The key word in the above-mentioned principles is impact. The consequence of any AI programming, intentional or unintentional, leaves a strong impact.The responsible AI lifecycleBoth the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) published ethics guidelines for computer scientists in the early 1990s. More recently, we have seen countless social scientists and STS researchers sounding the alarm about technology’s potential to harm people and society.To turn talk about responsible AI into action, organisations need to make sure that their use of AI fulfils several criteria. After defining the basic AI principles, an organization can develop a prototype. But they must be open to change even after launching what they assume to be the most fool-proof AI service.Microsoft’s Responsible AI Lifecycle is built on six key principles, namely:Define: Define the objectives, data requirements and responsible metrics.Envision: Consider the consequences and potential risks by continually analysing and improving.Prototype: Build prototypes based on data, models and experience, and test frequently.Build: Build and integrate AI according to responsible metrics and trade-offs.Launch: Launch only after diverse ring-testing with escalation and recovery planEvolve: By continuously analysing and improving.Microsoft is leading the way with detailed guidelines to help teams put responsible AI into practice. Their Guidelines for Human-AI Interaction recommend best practices for how AI systems should behave upon initial interaction, during regular interaction, when they’re inevitably wrong, and over time. They are to be used throughout the design process as existing ideas are evaluated, new ideas are being brainstormed, and collaboration undertaken across multiple disciplines in creating AI.In addition, there are several types of guidelines given to engineering teams including conversational AI guidelines, inclusive design guidelines, an AI fairness checklist, and an AI security engineering guidance.All guidelines are designed to help teams anticipate and address potential issues throughout the software development lifecycle to mitigate security, risks, and ethics issues.Principles to practicesAI is already having an enormous and positive impact on healthcare, the environment, and a host of other societal needs. These rapid advances have given rise to an industry debate about how the world should (or shouldn’t) use these new capabilities. As these systems become increasingly important to our lives, it is critical that when they fail that we understand how and why, whether it is inherent design of a system or the result of an adversary. In conclusion, Dr. Franklin emphasized the need for enterprises to understand how bias can be introduced and affect recommendations. Attracting a diverse pool of AI talent across the organization is critical to develop analytical techniques to detect and eliminate bias, he stressed.We hope Dr. Franklin's webinar and this article have helped frame the debate on responsible AI and provided us with a set of principles we can anchor on, and a set of actions we can take to advance the promise of AI in ways that don’t cause harm to people.

A Guide to Using AI Responsibly

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A Guide to Using AI Responsibly

"The artificial intelligence (AI) that we develop is impacting people directly or indirectly. And often, they don’t deserve the consequences of those impacts, nor have they asked for it. It is incumbent upon us to make sure that we are doing the right thing”.

- Dr. Anthony Franklin, Senior Data Scientist and AI Engineer, Microsoft


Digitally addressing a live global audience in a recent webinar on the topic of ‘Responsible AI’, Dr. Anthony Franklin, a senior data science expert and AI evangelist from Microsoft, spoke about the challenges that society faces from the ever-evolving AI and how the inherent biased nature of humans is reflected in technology.

Drawing from his experience in machine learning, risk analytics, analytics model management in government as well as data warehouse, Dr. Franklin shed light on the critical need to incorporate ethics in developing AI. Citing examples from various incidents that have taken place around the world, Dr. Franklin emphasized why it is critical for us to have an uncompromising approach towards using AI responsibly. He talked about the human (over)indulgence in technology, the challenges that society faces from the ever-evolving AI and how the inherent biased nature of humans is reflected through technology.

The purpose of the talk and this article is to help frame the debate on responsible AI with a set of principles we can anchor on, and a set of actions we can all take to advance the promise of AI in ways that don’t cause harm to people. In this article, we present key insights from the webinar along with the video for you to follow along.

KnowledgeHut webinar on Responsible AI by Dr. Anthony Franklin, Microsoft

What is the debate about?

These are times when we can expect to see policemen on the streets wearing AI glasses, viewing, and profiling the public. Military organizations today, can keep an eye on the public. Besides, a simple exercise of googling the word CEO, would result in pages and pages showing white men.

Police using AI glasses for public surveillance in ChinaThese are just some of the examples of the unparalleled success we have achieved in technology coupled with the fact that the same technology has overlooked the basic ethics, moral and social.

Responsible AI is a critical global need

In a recent study conducted from among the top ten technologically advanced nations, nearly nine of ten organizations across countries have encountered ethical issues resulting from the use of AI.

Responsible AI is a critical global need

Artificial intelligence has captured our imagination and made many things we would have thought impossible only a few years ago seem commonplace today. But AI has also raised some challenging issues for society writ large. We are in a race to advance AI capabilities and everything is about collecting data. But, what is being done with the data?

Advancements in AI are different from other technologies because of the pace of innovation and its proximity to human intelligence – impacting us at a personal and societal level.

Impacting us at a personal and societal level.While there remains no end to this ever-ending road of development, the need for us to ensure an equally powerful framework has increased even more. The need for a responsible AI is a critical global need.

What developers are saying about ethics in AI

Stack Overflow carried out a couple of anonymous developer focused surveys in 2018. Some of the responses are a clear indication of how the machine is often so powerful. While we wish the answers were all "No", the actual answers are not too surprising.

1. What would the developers do if asked to write a code for an unethical purpose?

The majority (58.5 percent) stated they would clearly decline if they were to be approached to write code for an unethical purpose. Over a third (37 percent), however, said they would do if it met some specific criteria of theirs.

2. Who is ultimately responsible for the code which accomplishes something unethical?

When asked with whom the ultimate responsibility lies if their code were to be used to accomplish something unethical, nearly one fifth of the developers acknowledge that such a responsibility should lie with the developer who wrote the code. 23 percent of the developers stated that this accountability should lie with the person who came up with the idea. The majority (60 percent), however, felt that the senior management should be responsible for this.

3. Do the developers have an obligation to consider the ethical implications?

A significant majority (80 percent) acknowledged that developers have the obligation to consider ethical implications. 

Though in smaller numbers, the above studies show the ability of the developers to get involved in unethical activity and the tendency to brush off accountability. Thus, there is a great and growing need not just for developers, but also for the rest of us to work collectively to change these numbers.

The six basic principles of AI

Though ambiguous, the principles attached with the ethics of AI remain very much tangible. Following are the six basic principles of AI:

The six basic principles of AI

1. Fairness

Fairness (noun)
the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice; evenhandedness

Discrimination

One of the many services which Amazon provides today includes the same-day-shipping policy. The map below shows the reach of the policy in the top 6 metropolitans in the US.

Discrimination

Source: Bloomberg   

In the city of Boston, one can see the gaps, the places where the service is not provided. Coincidentally, these areas turned out to be areas inhabited by individuals belonging to the lower economic strata. In defence, the Amazon stated that the policy was meant primarily for regions with denser Amazon users. 

Whichever way this is seen, the approach still ends up being discriminatory.

We see examples of bias in search as well. When we search for “CEO” in Bing, we see that all pictures are pictures of mostly white men, creating the impression that there are no women CEOs.

CEOs

Racism

We see examples of bias across different applications of AI. An image of an Asian American was submitted for the purpose of renewing the passport. After analysing the subject, the application’s statement read “Subjects eyes are closed”.

Racism

This highlights the unintentional, but negatively impactful working of a data organization. It further goes on to show how an inherent bias held by humans, transcends into the technology we make.

An algorithm widely used in US hospitals to allocate healthcare to patients has been systematically discriminating against black people, a sweeping analysis has found.

Health-care AlgorithmsThe study, published in Science in October 2019, concluded that the algorithm was less likely to refer black people than white people who were equally sick, to programmes that aim to improve care for patients with complex medical needs. Hospitals and insurers use the algorithm and others like it to help manage care for about 200 million people in the United States each year.

As a result, millions of black people have not been able to get equal medical treatment. To make things worse, data suggests that in some way or the other, the algorithms have been set up to make money.

In 2015, Google became one of the first to release a facial recognition programme. The system recognized the Caucasians perfectly well, but the same system identified a black person with an ape.

The New York Times

These examples of bias in technologies are not isolated from the society we live in. The society we live in has different forms of biases that may not consistent with a corporation’s values, but these biases may already be prevalent in their data sets.

With the widespread use of AI and statistical learning, such enterprises are at serious risk not only of spreading but also amplifying these biases in ways that they do not understand.

These examples demonstrate gross unfairness on multiple fronts, making it necessary for organizations to have a more diverse data in general.

2. Reliability and Safety

Reliability (noun)

the ability to be relied on or depended on, as for accuracy, honesty, or achievement.

Safety (noun)

the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss. the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss.

In the case of an autonomous vehicle, when can we as a consumer be 100% sure of our safety? Or can we ever be? How many miles does a car have to cover or how many people are to lose their lives before the assurance of the rest?

In the case of autonomous vehicles, how can we as consumers be 100 percent sure of our safety? Or can we ever be? How many miles does a car have to cover or how many people are to lose their lives before the assurance of the rest? These are just a few of the questions a company must answer before establishing themselves as a reliable organization.

A project from scientists in the UK and India shows one possible use for automated surveillance technology to identify violent behavior in crowds with the help of camera-equipped drones.

In a paper titled “Eye in the Sky,” the researchers used uses a simple Parrot AR quadcopter (which costs around $200) to transmit video footage over a mobile internet connection for real-time analysis. A figure from the paper showing how the software analyzes individuals poses and matches them to “violent” postures. The question is: how will this technology be used, and who will use it?

Researchers working in this field often note there is a huge difference between staged tests and real-world use-cases. Though this system is yet to prove itself, it is a clear illustration of the direction contemporary research is going.

Using AI to identify body poses is a common problem, with big tech companies like Facebook publishing significant research on the topic. Many experts agree that automated surveillance technologies are ripe for abuse by law enforcement and authoritarian governments.

3. Privacy and security

Privacy (noun)

the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion:

the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone:

Security (noun)

freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.

freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.

something that secures or makes safe; protection; defense.

Strava’s heat map revealed military bases around the world and exposed soldiers to real danger – this is not AI per se, but useful for a data discussion. A similar instance took place in Russia, too.

The iRobot’s latest Roomba’s i7+ Robovac maps users’ homes to let them customize the cleaning schedule. An integration with Google Assistant lets customers give verbal commands like, “OK Google, tell Roomba to clean the kitchen.” - this is voluntary action and needs user’s consent.

Roomba’s i7+ Robovac maps users’ homes to let them customize the cleaning schedule

In October 2018, the company admitted it had exposed the personal data of around 500,000 Google+ users, leading to the closure of the platform. It also announced it was reviewing access to Gmail by third-party companies after it was revealed that many developers were reading and analyzing users’ personal mail for marketing and data mining.

A 2012 New York Times article, spoke about a father who found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to apologize to a Target employee. Earlier, he had stormed into a store near Minneapolis and complained to the manager that his daughter was receiving coupons for cribs and baby clothes in the mail. It turned out that Target knew his teen daughter better than he did. She was pregnant and Target knew this before her dad did.

By crawling the teen’s data, statisticians at Target were able to identify about 25 products that, when analysed together, allowed them to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More importantly, they could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so they could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

Forbes

There was another instance reported in Canada of a mall using facial recognition software in their directories June to track shoppers' ages and genders without telling them.

4. Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness (adjective)

including or encompassing the stated limit or extremes in consideration or account (usually used postpositively)

including a great deal, or encompassing everything concerned; comprehensive

In the K.W vs Armstrong case, the plaintiffs were vulnerable adults living in Idaho, facing various psychological and developmental disabilities. They complained to the court when the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reduced their medical assistance budget by a whopping 42%.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare claimed that the reasons for the cuts were “trade secrets” and refused to disclose the algorithm it used to calculate the reductions.

K.W. v. Armstrong plaintiff, Christie Mathwig

Once a system is found to be discriminatory or otherwise inaccurate, there is an additional challenge in redesigning the system. Ideally, government agencies should develop an inclusive redesign process that allows communities affected by algorithmic decision systems to meaningfully participate. But this approach is frequently met with resistance.

5. Transparency

Transparency (adjective)

having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen. 

admitting the passage of light through interstices. 

so sheer as to permit light to pass through; diaphanous. 

easily seen through, recognized, or detected

A company in New Orleans assisted the police officials to predict the individuals and their likelihood of committing crimes. This is the example of the usage of predictive analytics for policing strategies, carried out secretively.

In the Rich Caruana case study, 10 million patients data, and 1000’s of features were used to train a model on the data to predict the risk of pneumonia and decide whether patients must be sent to hospital. But was this model safe to deploy and use on real patients? Was the test data sufficient to make accurate predictions?

Unfortunately, a bunch of different machine learning models had been used to train an accurate black box, without knowing what was inside. Multitask neural net was thought to be the most accurate, but was the approach safe?

The pattern in the data, strictly speaking, was accurate. The good news was that the treatment was so effective that it lowered the risk of dying compared to the general population. However, the bad news was that if we used this model to make decisions about whether to admit the patient to the hospital, it would be dangerous to asthmatics and hence, not at all safe to use.

Not only is this an issue of safety, but also a case of violation of transparency. The key problem is that there are bad patterns we don’t know about. While neural net is more accurate and can learn things fast, one doesn’t know everything that the neural net is using. We really need to understand the model before we deploy it.

Now, through a technique called Generalized Additive Models, whereby the influence of individual attributes in the training data can be independently measured, a new model has been trained where the outputs are completely transparent, but actually improved performance over the old model.

Asthmatics were now being sent home sooner because they were rushed to the front of the line as soon as they arrived at the hospital. Faster and more targeted care led to better results. And all the model learned from were the results.

In another instance, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim.

As part of the discovery process in the trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir.

6. Accountability

Accountability (adjective)

subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable. capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.

Like in the example of autonomous vehicles, in case of any mishap, where does the accountability lie? Who is to be blamed for the loss of lives or any sort of destruction in a driverless car?

With driverless cars, the question remains: Who is to blame?

It appears that the more advanced the technology, the faster it is losing its accountability. Be it a driverless car crashing or a robot killing a person, the question remains: who is to blame.

Whom does one sue if I were to get hit by a driverless car? What if a medical robot gives a patient the wrong drug? What if a vacuum robot sucks up one's hair while they are napping on the floor? And can a robot commit a war crime? Who gets to decide whether a person deserves certain treatment in an algorithm-based health care policy? Is it the organization which developed it or the developer who made it? There is a clear case of lack of accountability in such situations.

Liability of automated systems, the debate continues.The key word in the above-mentioned principles is impact. The consequence of any AI programming, intentional or unintentional, leaves a strong impact.

The responsible AI lifecycle

Both the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) published ethics guidelines for computer scientists in the early 1990s. More recently, we have seen countless social scientists and STS researchers sounding the alarm about technology’s potential to harm people and society.

To turn talk about responsible AI into action, organisations need to make sure that their use of AI fulfils several criteria. After defining the basic AI principles, an organization can develop a prototype. But they must be open to change even after launching what they assume to be the most fool-proof AI service.

Microsoft’s Responsible AI Lifecycle is built on six key principles, namely:

  1. Define: Define the objectives, data requirements and responsible metrics.
  2. Envision: Consider the consequences and potential risks by continually analysing and improving.
  3. Prototype: Build prototypes based on data, models and experience, and test frequently.
  4. Build: Build and integrate AI according to responsible metrics and trade-offs.
  5. Launch: Launch only after diverse ring-testing with escalation and recovery plan
  6. Evolve: By continuously analysing and improving.

Responsible AI Lifecycle. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft is leading the way with detailed guidelines to help teams put responsible AI into practice. Their Guidelines for Human-AI Interaction recommend best practices for how AI systems should behave upon initial interaction, during regular interaction, when they’re inevitably wrong, and over time. They are to be used throughout the design process as existing ideas are evaluated, new ideas are being brainstormed, and collaboration undertaken across multiple disciplines in creating AI.

In addition, there are several types of guidelines given to engineering teams including conversational AI guidelines, inclusive design guidelines, an AI fairness checklist, and an AI security engineering guidance.

All guidelines are designed to help teams anticipate and address potential issues throughout the software development lifecycle to mitigate security, risks, and ethics issues.

Principles to practices

AI is already having an enormous and positive impact on healthcare, the environment, and a host of other societal needs. These rapid advances have given rise to an industry debate about how the world should (or shouldn’t) use these new capabilities. 

As these systems become increasingly important to our lives, it is critical that when they fail that we understand how and why, whether it is inherent design of a system or the result of an adversary. 

In conclusion, Dr. Franklin emphasized the need for enterprises to understand how bias can be introduced and affect recommendations. Attracting a diverse pool of AI talent across the organization is critical to develop analytical techniques to detect and eliminate bias, he stressed.

We hope Dr. Franklin's webinar and this article have helped frame the debate on responsible AI and provided us with a set of principles we can anchor on, and a set of actions we can take to advance the promise of AI in ways that don’t cause harm to people.

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Top Data Analytics Certifications

What is data analytics?In the world of IT, every small bit of data count; even information that looks like pure nonsense has its significance. So, how do we retrieve the significance from this data? This is where Data Science and analytics comes into the picture.  Data Analytics is a process where data is inspected, transformed and interpreted to discover some useful bits of information from all the noise and make decisions accordingly. It forms the entire basis of the social media industry and finds a lot of use in IT, finance, hospitality and even social sciences. The scope in data analytics is nearly endless since all facets of life deal with the storage, processing and interpretation of data.Why data analytics? Data Analytics in this Information Age has nearly endless opportunities since literally everything in this era hinges on the importance of proper processing and data analysis. The insights from any data are crucial for any business. The field of data Analytics has grown more than 50 times from the early 2000s to 2021. Companies specialising in banking, healthcare, fraud detection, e-commerce, telecommunication, infrastructure and risk management hire data analysts and professionals every year in huge numbers.Need for certification:Skills are the first and foremost criteria for a job, but these skills need to be validated and recognised by reputed organisations for them to impress a potential employer. In the field of Data Analytics, it is pretty crucial to show your certifications. Hence, an employer knows you have hands-on experience in the field and can handle the workload of a real-world setting beyond just theoretical knowledge. Once you get a base certification, you can work your way up to higher and higher positions and enjoy lucrative pay packages. Top Data Analytics Certifications Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) SAS Certified Data Analyst (Using SAS91. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)A certification from an organisation called INFORMS, CAP is a notoriously rigorous certification and stands out like a star on an applicant's resume. Those who complete this program gain an invaluable credential and are able to distinguish themselves from the competition. It gives a candidate a comprehensive understanding of the analytical process's various fine aspects--from framing hypotheses and analytic problems to the proper methodology, along with acquisition, model building and deployment process with long-term life cycle management. It needs to be renewed after three years.The application process is in itself quite complex, and it also involves signing the CAP Code of Ethics before one is given the certification. The CAP panel reviews each application, and those who pass this review are the only ones who can give the exam.  Prerequisite: A bachelor’s degree with 5 years of professional experience or a master's degree with 3 years of professional experience.  Exam Fee & Format: The base price is $695. For individuals who are members of INFORMS the price is $495. (Source) The pass percentage is 70%. The format is a four option MCQ paper. Salary: $76808 per year (Source) 2. Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst Cloudera has a well-earned reputation in the IT sector, and its Associate Data analyst certification can help bolster the resume of Business intelligence specialists, system architects, data analysts, database administrators as well as developers. It has a specific focus on SQL developers who aim to show their proficiency on the platform.This certificate validates an applicant's ability to operate in a CDH environment by Cloudera using Impala and Hive tools. One doesn't need to turn to expensive tuitions and academies as Cloudera offers an Analyst Training course with almost the same objectives as the exam, leaving one with a good grasp of the fundamentals.   Prerequisites: basic knowledge of SQL and Linux Command line Exam Fee & Format: The cost of the exam is $295 (Source), The test is a performance-based test containing 8-12 questions to be completed in a proctored environment under 129 minutes.  Expected Salary: You can earn the job title of Cloudera Data Analyst that pays up to $113,286 per year. (Source)3. Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP)aCAP is an entry-level certification for Analytics professionals with lesser experience but effective knowledge, which helps in real-life situations. It is for those candidates who have a master’s degree in a field related to data analytics.  It is one of the few vendor-neutral certifications on the list and must be converted to CAP within 6 years, so it offers a good opportunity for those with a long term path in a Data Analytics career. It also needs to be renewed every three years, like the CAP certification. Like its professional counterpart, aCAP helps a candidate step out in a vendor-neutral manner and drastically increases their professional credibility.  Prerequisite: Master’s degree in any discipline related to data Analytics. Exam Fee: The base price is $300. For individuals who are members of INFORMS the price is $200. (Source). There is an extensive syllabus which covers: i. Business Problem Framing, ii. Analytics Problem Framing, iii. Data, iv. Methodology Selection, v. Model Building, vi. Deployment, vii. Lifecycle Management of the Analytics process, problem-solving, data science and visualisation and much more.4. SAS Certified Data Analyst (Using SAS9)From one of the pioneers in IT and Statistics - the SAS Institute of Data Management - a SAS Certified Data Scientist can gain insights and analyse various aspects of data from businesses using tools like the SAS software and other open-source methodology. It also validates competency in using complex machine learning models and inferring results to interpret future business strategy and release models using the SAS environment. SAS Academy for Data Science is a viable institute for those who want to receive proper training for the exam and use this as a basis for their career.  Prerequisites: To earn this credential, one needs to pass 5 exams, two from the SAS Certified Big Data Professional credential and three exams from the SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Credential. Exam Fee: The cost for each exam is $180. (Source) An exception is Predictive Modelling using the SAS Enterprise Miner, costing $250, This exam can be taken in the English language. One can join the SAS Academy for Data Science and also take a practice exam beforehand. Salary: You can get a job as a SAS Data Analyst that pays up to $90,000 per year! (Source) 5. IBM Data Science Professional CertificateWhenever someone studies the history of a computer, IBM (International Business Machines) is the first brand that comes up. IBM is still alive and kicking, now having forayed into and becoming a major player in the Big Data segment. The IBM Data Science Professional certificate is one of the beginner-level certificates if you want to sink your hands into the world of data analysis. It shows a candidate's skills in various topics pertaining to data sciences, including various open-source tools, Python databases, SWL, data visualisation, and data methodologies.  One needs to complete nine courses to earn the certificate. It takes around three months if one works twelve hours per week. It also involves the completion of various hands-on assignments and building a portfolio. A candidate earns the Professional certificate from Coursera and a badge from IBM that recognises a candidate's proficiency in the area. Prerequisites: It is the optimal course for freshers since it requires no requisite programming knowledge or proficiency in Analytics. Exam Fee: It costs $39 per month (Source) to access the course materials and the certificate. The course is handled by the Coursera organisation. Expected Salary: This certification can earn you the title of IBM Data Scientist and help you earn a salary of $134,846 per annum. (Source) 6. Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist AssociateIt's one of the most well-known certifications for newcomers to step into the field of Big Data and Data analytics. This credential is offered by the leader in the industry, Microsoft Azure. This credential validates a candidate's ability to work with Microsoft Azure developing environment and proficiency in analysing big data, preparing data for the modelling process, and then progressing to designing models. One advantage of this credential is that it has no expiry date and does not need renewal; it also authorises the candidate’s extensive knowledge in predictive Analytics. Prerequisites: knowledge and experience in data science and using Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks. Exam Fee: It costs $165 to (Source) register for the exam. One advantage is that there is no need to attend proxy institutions to prepare for this exam, as Microsoft offers free training materials as well as an instructor-led course that is paid. There is a comprehensive collection of resources available to a candidate. Expected Salary: The job title typically offered is Microsoft Data Scientist and it typically fetches a yearly pay of $130,993.(Source) Why be a Data Analytics professional? For those already working in the field of data, being a Data Analyst is one of the most viable options. The salary of a data analyst ranges from $65,000 to $85,000 depending on number of years of experience. This lucrative salary makes it worth the investment to get a certification and advance your skills to the next level so that you can work for multinational companies by interpreting and organising data and using this analysis to accelerate businesses. These certificates demonstrate that you have the required knowledge needed to operate data models of the volumes needed by big organizations. 1. Demand is more than supply With the advent of the Information Age, there has been a huge boom in companies that either entirely or partially deal with IT. For many companies IT forms the core of their business. Every business has to deal with data, and it is crucial to get accurate insights from this data and use it to further business interests and expand profits. The interpretation of data also aims to guide them in the future to make the best business decisions.  Complex business intelligence algorithms are in place these days. They need trained professionals to operate them; since this field is relatively new, there is a shortage of experts. Thus, there are vacancies for data analyst positions with lucrative pay if one is qualified enough.2. Good pay with benefitsA data analyst is an extremely lucrative profession, with an average base pay of $71,909 (Source), employee benefits, a good work-home balance, and other perks. It has been consistently rated as being among the hottest careers of the decade and allows professionals to have a long and satisfying career.   Companies Hiring Certified Data Analytics Professionals Oracle A California based brand, Oracle is a software company that is most famous for its data solutions. With over 130000 employees and a revenue of 39 billion, it is surely one of the bigger players in Data Analytics.  MicroStrategy   Unlike its name, this company is anything but micro, with more than 400 million worth of revenue. It provides a suite of analytical products along with business mobility solutions. It is a key player in the mobile space, working natively with Android and iOS.   SAS   One of the companies in the list which provides certifications and is also without a doubt one of the largest names in the field of Big Data, machine learning and Data Analytics, is SAS. The name SAS is derived from Statistical Analysis System. This company is trusted and has a solid reputation. It is also behind the SAS Institute for Data Science. Hence, SAS is the organisation you would want to go to if you're aiming for a long-term career in data science.    Conclusion To conclude, big data and data Analytics are a field of endless opportunities. By investing in the right credential, one can pave the way to a viable and lucrative career path. Beware though, there are lots of companies that provide certifications, but only recognised and reputed credentials will give you the opportunities you are seeking. Hiring companies look for these certifications as a mark of authenticity of your hands-on experience and the amount of work you can handle effectively. Therefore, the credential you choose for yourself plays a vital role in the career you can have in the field of Data analytics.  Happy learning!    
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Why Should You Start a Career in Machine Learning?

If you are even remotely interested in technology you would have heard of machine learning. In fact machine learning is now a buzzword and there are dozens of articles and research papers dedicated to it.  Machine learning is a technique which makes the machine learn from past experiences. Complex domain problems can be resolved quickly and efficiently using Machine Learning techniques.  We are living in an age where huge amounts of data are produced every second. This explosion of data has led to creation of machine learning models which can be used to analyse data and to benefit businesses.  This article tries to answer a few important concepts related to Machine Learning and informs you about the career path in this prestigious and important domain.What is Machine Learning?So, here’s your introduction to Machine Learning. This term was coined in the year 1997. “A computer program is said to learn from experience E with respect to some class of tasks T and performance measure P, if its performance at the tasks improves with the experiences.”, as defined in the book on ML written by Mitchell in 1997. The difference between a traditional programming and programming using Machine Learning is depicted here, the first Approach (a) is a traditional approach, and second approach (b) is a Machine Learning based approach.Machine Learning encompasses the techniques in AI which allow the system to learn automatically looking at the data available. While learning, the system tries to improve the experience without making any explicit efforts in programming. Any machine learning application follows the following steps broadlySelecting the training datasetAs the definition indicates, machine learning algorithms require past experience, that is data, for learning. So, selection of appropriate data is the key for any machine learning application.Preparing the dataset by preprocessing the dataOnce the decision about the data is made, it needs to be prepared for use. Machine learning algorithms are very susceptible to the small changes in data. To get the right insights, data must be preprocessed which includes data cleaning and data transformation.  Exploring the basic statistics and properties of dataTo understand what the data wishes to convey, the data engineer or Machine Learning engineer needs to understand the properties of data in detail. These details are understood by studying the statistical properties of data. Visualization is an important process to understand the data in detail.Selecting the appropriate algorithm to apply on the datasetOnce the data is ready and understood in detail, then appropriate Machine Learning algorithms or models are selected. The choice of algorithm depends on characteristics of data as well as type of task to be performed on the data. The choice also depends on what kind of output is required from the data.Checking the performance and fine-tuning the parameters of the algorithmThe model or algorithm chosen is fine-tuned to get improved performance. If multiple models are applied, then they are weighed against the performance. The final algorithm is again fine-tuned to get appropriate output and performance.Why Pursue a Career in Machine Learning in 2021?A recent survey has estimated that the jobs in AI and ML have grown by more than 300%. Even before the pandemic struck, Machine Learning skills were in high demand and the demand is expected to increase two-fold in the near future.A career in machine learning gives you the opportunity to make significant contributions in AI, the future of technology. All the big and small businesses are adopting Machine Learning models to improve their bottom-line margins and return on investment.  The use of Machine Learning has gone beyond just technology and it is now used in diverse industries including healthcare, automobile, manufacturing, government and more. This has greatly enhanced the value of Machine Learning experts who can earn an average salary of $112,000.  Huge numbers of jobs are expected to be created in the coming years.  Here are a few reasons why one should pursue a career in Machine Learning:The global machine learning market is expected to touch $20.83B in 2024, according to Forbes.  We are living in a digital age and this explosion of data has made the use of machine learning models a necessity. Machine Learning is the only way to extract meaning out of data and businesses need Machine Learning engineers to analyze huge data and gain insights from them to improve their businesses.If you like numbers, if you like research, if you like to read and test and if you have a passion to analyse, then machine learning is the career for you. Learning the right tools and programming languages will help you use machine learning to provide appropriate solutions to complex problems, overcome challenges and grow the business.Machine Learning is a great career option for those interested in computer science and mathematics. They can come up with new Machine Learning algorithms and techniques to cater to the needs of various business domains.As explained above, a career in machine learning is both rewarding and lucrative. There are huge number of opportunities available if you have the right expertise and knowledge. On an average, Machine Learning engineers get higher salaries, than other software developers.Years of experience in the Machine Learning domain, helps you break into data scientist roles, which is not just among the hottest careers of our generation but also a highly respected and lucrative career. Right skills in the right business domain helps you progress and make a mark for yourself in your organization. For example, if you have expertise in pharmaceutical industries and experience working in Machine learning, then you may land job roles as a data scientist consultant in big pharmaceutical companies.Statistics on Machine learning growth and the industries that use MLAccording to a research paper in AI Multiple (https://research.aimultiple.com/ml-stats/), the Machine Learning market will grow to 9 Billion USD by the end of 2022. There are various areas where Machine Learning models and solutions are getting deployed, and businesses see an overall increase of 44% investments in this area. North America is one of the leading regions in the adoption of Machine Learning followed by Asia.The Global Machine Learning market will grow by 42% which is evident from the following graph. Image sourceThere is a huge demand for Machine Learning modelling because of the large use of Cloud Based Applications and Services. The pandemic has changed the face of businesses, making them heavily dependent on Cloud and AI based services. Google, IBM, and Amazon are just some of the companies that have invested heavily in AI and Machine Learning based application development, to provide robust solutions for problems faced by small to large scale businesses. Machine Learning and Cloud based solutions are scalable and secure for all types of business.ML analyses and interprets data patterns, computing and developing algorithms for various business purposes.Advantages of Machine Learning courseNow that we have established the advantages of perusing a career in Machine Learning, let’s understand from where to start our machine learning journey. The best option would be to start with a Machine Learning course. There are various platforms which offer popular Machine Learning courses. One can always start with an online course which is both effective and safe in these COVID times.These courses start with an introduction to Machine Learning and then slowly help you to build your skills in the domain. Many courses even start with the basics of programming languages such as Python, which are important for building Machine Learning models. Courses from reputed institutions will hand hold you through the basics. Once the basics are clear, you may switch to an offline course and get the required certification.Online certifications have the same value as offline classes. They are a great way to clear your doubts and get personalized help to grow your knowledge. These courses can be completed along with your normal job or education, as most are self-paced and can be taken at a time of your convenience. There are plenty of online blogs and articles to aid you in completion of your certification.Machine Learning courses include many real time case studies which help you in understanding the basics and application aspects. Learning and applying are both important and are covered in good Machine Learning Courses. So, do your research and pick an online tutorial that is from a reputable institute.What Does the Career Path in Machine Learning Look Like?One can start their career in Machine Learning domain as a developer or application programmer. But the acquisition of the right skills and experience can lead you to various career paths. Following are some of the career options in Machine Learning (not an exhaustive list):Data ScientistA data scientist is a person with rich experience in a particular business field. A person who has a knowledge of domain, as well as machine learning modelling, is a data scientist. Data Scientists’ job is to study the data carefully and suggest accurate models to improve the business.AI and Machine Learning EngineerAn AI engineer is responsible for choosing the proper Machine Learning Algorithm based on natural language processing and neural network. They are responsible for applying it in AI applications like personalized advertising.  A Machine Learning Engineer is responsible for creating the appropriate models for improvement of the businessData EngineerA Data Engineer, as the name suggests, is responsible to collect data and make it ready for the application of Machine Learning models. Identification of the right data and making it ready for extraction of further insights is the main work of a data engineer.Business AnalystA person who studies the business and analyzes the data to get insights from it is a Business Analyst. He or she is responsible for extracting the insights from the data at hand.Business Intelligence (BI) DeveloperA BI developer uses Machine Learning and Data Analytics techniques to work on a large amount of data. Proper representation of data to suit business decisions, using the latest tools for creation of intuitive dashboards is the role of a BI developer.  Human Machine Interface learning engineerCreating tools using machine learning techniques to ease the human machine interaction or automate decisions, is the role of a Human Machine Interface learning engineer. This person helps in generating choices for users to ease their work.Natural Language Processing (NLP) engineer or developerAs the name suggests, this person develops various techniques to process Natural Language constructs. Building applications or systems using machine learning techniques to build Natural Language based applications is their main task. They create multilingual Chatbots for use in websites and other applications.Why are Machine Learning Roles so popular?As mentioned above, the market growth of AI and ML has increased tremendously over the past years. The Machine Learning Techniques are applied in every domain including marketing, sales, product recommendations, brand retention, creating advertising, understanding the sentiments of customer, security, banking and more. Machine learning algorithms are also used in emails to ease the users work. This says a lot, and proves that a career in Machine Learning is in high demand as all businesses are incorporating various machine learning techniques and are improving their business.One can harness this popularity by skilling up with Machine Learning skills. Machine Learning models are now being used by every company, irrespective of their size--small or big, to get insights on their data and use these insights to improve the business. As every company wishes to grow faster, they are deploying more machine learning engineers to get their work done on time. Also, the migration of businesses to Cloud services for better security and scalability, has increased their requirement for more Machine Learning algorithms and models to cater to their needs.Introducing the Machine learning techniques and solutions has brought huge returns for businesses.  Machine Learning solution providers like Google, IBM, Microsoft etc. are investing in human resources for development of Machine Learning models and algorithms. The tools developed by them are popularly used by businesses to get early returns. It has been observed that there is significant increase in patents in Machine Learning domains since the past few years, indicating the quantum of work happening in this domain.Machine Learning SkillsLet’s visit a few important skills one must acquire to work in the domain of Machine Learning.Programming languagesKnowledge of programming is very important for a career in Machine Learning. Languages like Python and R are popularly used to develop applications using Machine Learning models and algorithms. Python, being the simplest and most flexible language, is very popular for AI and Machine Learning applications. These languages provide rich support of libraries for implementation of Machine Learning Algorithms. A person who is good in programming can work very efficiently in this domain.Mathematics and StatisticsThe base for Machine Learning is mathematics and statistics. Statistics applied to data help in understanding it in micro detail. Many machine learning models are based on the probability theory and require knowledge of linear algebra, transformations etc. A good understanding of statistics and probability increases the early adoption to Machine Learning domain.Analytical toolsA plethora of analytical tools are available where machine learning models are already implemented and made available for use. Also, these tools are very good for visualization purposes. Tools like IBM Cognos, PowerBI, Tableue etc are important to pursue a career as a  Machine Learning engineer.Machine Learning Algorithms and librariesTo become a master in this domain, one must master the libraries which are provided with various programming languages. The basic understanding of how machine learning algorithms work and are implemented is crucial.Data Modelling for Machine Learning based systemsData lies at the core of any Machine Learning application. So, modelling the data to suit the application of Machine Learning algorithms is an important task. Data modelling experts are the heart of development teams that develop machine learning based systems. SQL based solutions like Oracle, SQL Server, and NoSQL solutions are important for modelling data required for Machine Learning applications. MongoDB, DynamoDB, Riak are some important NOSQL based solutions available to process unstructured data for Machine Learning applications.Other than these skills, there are two other skills that may prove to be beneficial for those planning on a career in the Machine Learning domain:Natural Language processing techniquesFor E-commerce sites, customer feedback is very important and crucial in determining the roadmap of future products. Many customers give reviews for the products that they have used or give suggestions for improvement. These feedbacks and opinions are analyzed to gain more insights about the customers buying habits as well as about the products. This is part of natural language processing using Machine Learning. The likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter are developing machine learning algorithms for Natural Language Processing and are constantly working on improving their solutions. Knowledge of basics of Natural Language Processing techniques and libraries is must in the domain of Machine Learning.Image ProcessingKnowledge of Image and Video processing is very crucial when a solution is required to be developed in the area of security, weather forecasting, crop prediction etc. Machine Learning based solutions are very effective in these domains. Tools like Matlab, Octave, OpenCV are some important tools available to develop Machine Learning based solutions which require image or video processing.ConclusionMachine Learning is a technique to automate the tasks based on past experiences. This is among the most lucrative career choices right now and will continue to remain so in the future. Job opportunities are increasing day by day in this domain. Acquiring the right skills by opting for a proper Machine Learning course is important to grow in this domain. You can have an impressive career trajectory as a machine learning expert, provided you have the right skills and expertise.
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Why Should You Start a Career in Machine Learning?

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Types of Probability Distributions Every Data Science Expert Should know

Data Science has become one of the most popular interdisciplinary fields. It uses scientific approaches, methods, algorithms, and operations to obtain facts and insights from unstructured, semi-structured, and structured datasets. Organizations use these collected facts and insights for efficient production, business growth, and to predict user requirements. Probability distribution plays a significant role in performing data analysis equipping a dataset for training a model. In this article, you will learn about the types of Probability Distribution, random variables, types of discrete distributions, and continuous distribution.  What is Probability Distribution? A Probability Distribution is a statistical method that determines all the probable values and possibilities that a random variable can deliver from a particular range. This range of values will have a lower bound and an upper bound, which we call the minimum and the maximum possible values.  Various factors on which plotting of a value depends are standard deviation, mean (or average), skewness, and kurtosis. All of these play a significant role in Data science as well. We can use probability distribution in physics, engineering, finance, data analysis, machine learning, etc. Significance of Probability distributions in Data Science In a way, most of the data science and machine learning operations are dependent on several assumptions about the probability of your data. Probability distribution allows a skilled data analyst to recognize and comprehend patterns from large data sets; that is, otherwise, entirely random variables and values. Thus, it makes probability distribution a toolkit based on which we can summarize a large data set. The density function and distribution techniques can also help in plotting data, thus supporting data analysts to visualize data and extract meaning. General Properties of Probability Distributions Probability distribution determines the likelihood of any outcome. The mathematical expression takes a specific value of x and shows the possibility of a random variable with p(x). Some general properties of the probability distribution are – The total of all probabilities for any possible value becomes equal to 1. In a probability distribution, the possibility of finding any specific value or a range of values must lie between 0 and 1. Probability distributions tell us the dispersal of the values from the random variable. Consequently, the type of variable also helps determine the type of probability distribution.Common Data Types Before jumping directly into explaining the different probability distributions, let us first understand the different types of probability distributions or the main categories of the probability distribution. Data analysts and data engineers have to deal with a broad spectrum of data, such as text, numerical, image, audio, voice, and many more. Each of these have a specific means to be represented and analyzed. Data in a probability distribution can either be discrete or continuous. Numerical data especially takes one of the two forms. Discrete data: They take specific values where the outcome of the data remains fixed. Like, for example, the consequence of rolling two dice or the number of overs in a T-20 match. In the first case, the result lies between 2 and 12. In the second case, the event will be less than 20. Different types of discrete distributions that use discrete data are: Binomial Distribution Hypergeometric Distribution Geometric Distribution Poisson Distribution Negative Binomial Distribution Multinomial Distribution  Continuous data: It can obtain any value irrespective of bound or limit. Example: weight, height, any trigonometric value, age, etc. Different types of continuous distributions that use continuous data are: Beta distribution Cauchy distribution Exponential distribution Gamma distribution Logistic distribution Weibull distribution Types of Probability Distribution explained Here are some of the popular types of Probability distributions used by data science professionals. (Try all the code using Jupyter Notebook) Normal Distribution: It is also known as Gaussian distribution. It is one of the simplest types of continuous distribution. This probability distribution is symmetrical around its mean value. It also shows that data at close proximity of the mean is frequently occurring, compared to data that is away from it. Here, mean = 0, variance = finite valueHere, you can see 0 at the center is the Normal Distribution for different mean and variance values. Here is a code example showing the use of Normal Distribution: from scipy.stats import norm  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  import numpy as np  def normalDist() -> None:      fig, ax = mpl.subplots(1, 1)      mean, var, skew, kurt = norm.stats(moments = 'mvsk')      x = np.linspace(norm.ppf(0.01),  norm.ppf(0.99), 100)      ax.plot(x, norm.pdf(x),          'r-', lw = 5, alpha = 0.6, label = 'norm pdf')      ax.plot(x, norm.cdf(x),          'b-', lw = 5, alpha = 0.6, label = 'norm cdf')      vals = norm.ppf([0.001, 0.5, 0.999])      np.allclose([0.001, 0.5, 0.999], norm.cdf(vals))      r = norm.rvs(size = 1000)      ax.hist(r, normed = True, histtype = 'stepfilled', alpha = 0.2)      ax.legend(loc = 'best', frameon = False)      mpl.show()  normalDist() Output: Bernoulli Distribution: It is the simplest type of probability distribution. It is a particular case of Binomial distribution, where n=1. It means a binomial distribution takes 'n' number of trials, where n > 1 whereas, the Bernoulli distribution takes only a single trial.   Probability Mass Function of a Bernoulli’s Distribution is:  where p = probability of success and q = probability of failureHere is a code example showing the use of Bernoulli Distribution: from scipy.stats import bernoulli  import seaborn as sb    def bernoulliDist():      data_bern = bernoulli.rvs(size=1200, p = 0.7)      ax = sb.distplot(          data_bern,           kde = True,           color = 'g',           hist_kws = {'alpha' : 1},          kde_kws = {'color': 'y', 'lw': 3, 'label': 'KDE'})      ax.set(xlabel = 'Bernouli Values', ylabel = 'Frequency Distribution')  bernoulliDist() Output:Continuous Uniform Distribution: In this type of continuous distribution, all outcomes are equally possible; each variable gets the same probability of hit as a consequence. This symmetric probabilistic distribution has random variables at an equal interval, with the probability of 1/(b-a). Here is a code example showing the use of Uniform Distribution: from numpy import random  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  import seaborn as sb  def uniformDist():      sb.distplot(random.uniform(size = 1200), hist = True)      mpl.show()  uniformDist() Output: Log-Normal Distribution: A Log-Normal distribution is another type of continuous distribution of logarithmic values that form a normal distribution. We can transform a log-normal distribution into a normal distribution. Here is a code example showing the use of Log-Normal Distribution import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  def lognormalDist():      muu, sig = 3, 1      s = np.random.lognormal(muu, sig, 1000)      cnt, bins, ignored = mpl.hist(s, 80, normed = True, align ='mid', color = 'y')      x = np.linspace(min(bins), max(bins), 10000)      calc = (np.exp( -(np.log(x) - muu) **2 / (2 * sig**2))             / (x * sig * np.sqrt(2 * np.pi)))      mpl.plot(x, calc, linewidth = 2.5, color = 'g')      mpl.axis('tight')      mpl.show()  lognormalDist() Output: Pareto Distribution: It is one of the most critical types of continuous distribution. The Pareto Distribution is a skewed statistical distribution that uses power-law to describe quality control, scientific, social, geophysical, actuarial, and many other types of observable phenomena. The distribution shows slow or heavy-decaying tails in the plot, where much of the data reside at its extreme end. Here is a code example showing the use of Pareto Distribution – import numpy as np  from matplotlib import pyplot as plt  from scipy.stats import pareto  def paretoDist():      xm = 1.5        alp = [2, 4, 6]       x = np.linspace(0, 4, 800)      output = np.array([pareto.pdf(x, scale = xm, b = a) for a in alp])      plt.plot(x, output.T)      plt.show()  paretoDist() Output:Exponential Distribution: It is a type of continuous distribution that determines the time elapsed between events (in a Poisson process). Let’s suppose, that you have the Poisson distribution model that holds the number of events happening in a given period. We can model the time between each birth using an exponential distribution.Here is a code example showing the use of Pareto Distribution – from numpy import random  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  import seaborn as sb  def expDist():      sb.distplot(random.exponential(size = 1200), hist = True)      mpl.show()   expDist()Output:Types of the Discrete probability distribution – There are various types of Discrete Probability Distribution a Data science aspirant should know about. Some of them are – Binomial Distribution: It is one of the popular discrete distributions that determine the probability of x success in the 'n' trial. We can use Binomial distribution in situations where we want to extract the probability of SUCCESS or FAILURE from an experiment or survey which went through multiple repetitions. A Binomial distribution holds a fixed number of trials. Also, a binomial event should be independent, and the probability of obtaining failure or success should remain the same. Here is a code example showing the use of Binomial Distribution – from numpy import random  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  import seaborn as sb    def binomialDist():      sb.distplot(random.normal(loc = 50, scale = 6, size = 1200), hist = False, label = 'normal')      sb.distplot(random.binomial(n = 100, p = 0.6, size = 1200), hist = False, label = 'binomial')      plt.show()    binomialDist() Output:Geometric Distribution: The geometric probability distribution is one of the crucial types of continuous distributions that determine the probability of any event having likelihood ‘p’ and will happen (occur) after 'n' number of Bernoulli trials. Here 'n' is a discrete random variable. In this distribution, the experiment goes on until we encounter either a success or a failure. The experiment does not depend on the number of trials. Here is a code example showing the use of Geometric Distribution – import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  def probability_to_occur_at(attempt, probability):      return (1-p)**(attempt - 1) * probability  p = 0.3  attempt = 4  attempts_to_show = range(21)[1:]  print('Possibility that this event will occur on the 7th try: ', probability_to_occur_at(attempt, p))  mpl.xlabel('Number of Trials')  mpl.ylabel('Probability of the Event')  barlist = mpl.bar(attempts_to_show, height=[probability_to_occur_at(x, p) for x in attempts_to_show], tick_label=attempts_to_show)  barlist[attempt].set_color('g')  mpl.show() Output:Poisson Distribution: Poisson distribution is one of the popular types of discrete distribution that shows how many times an event has the possibility of occurrence in a specific set of time. We can obtain this by limiting the Bernoulli distribution from 0 to infinity. Data analysts often use the Poisson distributions to comprehend independent events occurring at a steady rate in a given time interval. Here is a code example showing the use of Poisson Distribution from scipy.stats import poisson  import seaborn as sb  import numpy as np  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  def poissonDist():       mpl.figure(figsize = (10, 10))      data_binom = poisson.rvs(mu = 3, size = 5000)      ax = sb.distplot(data_binom, kde=True, color = 'g',                       bins=np.arange(data_binom.min(), data_binom.max() + 1),                       kde_kws={'color': 'y', 'lw': 4, 'label': 'KDE'})      ax.set(xlabel = 'Poisson Distribution', ylabel='Data Frequency')      mpl.show()      poissonDist() Output:Multinomial Distribution: A multinomial distribution is another popular type of discrete probability distribution that calculates the outcome of an event having two or more variables. The term multi means more than one. The Binomial distribution is a particular type of multinomial distribution with two possible outcomes - true/false or heads/tails. Here is a code example showing the use of Multinomial Distribution – import numpy as np  import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl  np.random.seed(99)   n = 12                      pvalue = [0.3, 0.46, 0.22]     s = []  p = []     for size in np.logspace(2, 3):      outcomes = np.random.multinomial(n, pvalue, size=int(size))        prob = sum((outcomes[:,0] == 7) & (outcomes[:,1] == 2) & (outcomes[:,2] == 3))/len(outcomes)      p.append(prob)      s.append(int(size))  fig1 = mpl.figure()  mpl.plot(s, p, 'o-')  mpl.plot(s, [0.0248]*len(s), '--r')  mpl.grid()  mpl.xlim(xmin = 0)  mpl.xlabel('Number of Events')  mpl.ylabel('Function p(X = K)') Output:Negative Binomial Distribution: It is also a type of discrete probability distribution for random variables having negative binomial events. It is also known as the Pascal distribution, where the random variable tells us the number of repeated trials produced during a specific number of experiments.  Here is a code example showing the use of Negative Binomial Distribution – import matplotlib.pyplot as mpl   import numpy as np   from scipy.stats import nbinom    x = np.linspace(0, 6, 70)   gr, kr = 0.3, 0.7        g = nbinom.ppf(x, gr, kr)   s = nbinom.pmf(x, gr, kr)   mpl.plot(x, g, "*", x, s, "r--") Output: Apart from these mentioned distribution types, various other types of probability distributions exist that data science professionals can use to extract reliable datasets. In the next topic, we will understand some interconnections & relationships between various types of probability distributions. Relationship between various Probability distributions – It is surprising to see that different types of probability distributions are interconnected. In the chart shown below, the dashed line is for limited connections between two families of distribution, whereas the solid lines show the exact relationship between them in terms of transformation, variable, type, etc. Conclusion  Probability distributions are prevalent among data analysts and data science professionals because of their wide usage. Today, companies and enterprises hire data science professionals in many sectors, namely, computer science, health, insurance, engineering, and even social science, where probability distributions appear as fundamental tools for application. It is essential for Data analysts and data scientists. to know the core of statistics. Probability Distributions perform a requisite role in analyzing data and cooking a dataset to train the algorithms efficiently. If you want to learn more about data science - particularly probability distributions and their uses, check out KnowledgeHut's comprehensive Data science course. 
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Types of Probability Distributions Every Data Scie...

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