2019 October Inside OR

This month, Inside OR looks at AI within the NHS and bias in algorithms, puts spotlights on George Gabriel Stokes and John Venn, publishes a book review, and brings you news about changes to OR in Schools, our upcoming training courses and events from across The OR Society.

Predictive Analytics and Forecasting

Forecasting is an activity carried out by most organisations in some form or other; this will include sales forecasting, cash flows, cost projections and the analysis of marketing campaigns, as well as long term ‘scenarios’ that require the use of managerial judgment. Why, then, are there so few predictive analytics courses which give forecasting proper emphasis and prepare students to meet the common and important business need? Robert Fildes, Keith Ord and Nik Kourentzes counter this neglect by outlining how such a course might be structured.

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Operational Researchers as brokers in the Brave New World of AI

With artificial intelligence being now both on-trend and ubiquitous, Christina Pagel envisions OR people as crucial catalysts, able to bridge the translation gap between technical data scientists to real-world practitioners and spot the potential of how new techniques can be applied to old (and new) problems.

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Bias is not limited to algorithms

Nigel Cummings discusses work done by Columbia University to look at how human brains create bias and – crucially and perhaps surprisingly – can set bias aside to apply logical, mathematical reasoning to the decision at hand. This work has important implications for the way humans create algorithms which contain (to greater and lesser extents) biases which can affect the lives of millions.

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