What Makes A Sturdy AI?. “The E book of Why” Chapters 9&10, a Learn… | by Zijing Zhu, PhD | Jan, 2024

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“The E book of Why” Chapters 9&10, a Learn with Me collection

Zijing Zhu, PhD

13 min learn

11 hours in the past

We’re on the final article studying Judea Pearl’s inspiring “The E book of Why,” and it’ll largely give attention to mediators and tips on how to mix causality with huge knowledge to derive reliable conclusions. I may even summarize what makes a powerful AI ultimately primarily based on the entire ebook.


We now have briefly talked about mediation within the earlier articles. We talked about you will need to determine mediators not solely as a result of we shouldn’t deal with them as confounders, since conditioning on them will block the causal impact fully or partially, but in addition in correct circumstances, we will use mediators for front-door criterion when unobserved confounders exist.

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On this part, we are going to dive deeper into totally different examples of mediators and perceive tips on how to correctly outline direct causal impact, oblique causal impact, and complete causal impact when mediators exist.

In historical past, scurvy had all the time been essentially the most terrifying illness for sailors. Earlier than nutritional vitamins have been found and correctly named, scientists struggled to determine tips on how to stop sailors from getting scurvy. They first requested what’s the trigger — why did some sailors get scurvy and a few don’t? Having noticed that citrus fruits helped scale back scurvy, they wanted to clarify why citrus fruits assist stop scurvy, which led to the invention of Vitamin C.

Mediators present solutions to the second “why” query. On this instance, Vitamin C is the mediator for the citrus fruits to take into impact, and citrus fruits don’t have any direct impact on scurvy. If we dry or boil these fruits, it received’t assist stop scurvy anymore.

Not like the earlier instance, in lots of circumstances, there are two paths for a trigger to impact. The route that connects trigger to impact immediately represents the direct causal impact. There might exist one other route that connects the trigger and impact via a mediator, which produces the oblique causal impact.

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