Giles Hooker on Statistics, Machine Learning and Uncertainty

Machine learning continues to have a profound impact on our everyday lives, from the seemingly trivial (a movie recommendation from Netflix) to the most vital (the correct medical treatment). Meanwhile, uncertainty looms: machine learning calculates a prediction, but how sound is that prediction?

Giles Hooker, professor of Statistical Science and Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, looks to statistics to measure this uncertainty. His work is the subject of this extensive, highly recommended feature story out of Cornell Research.

"[T]here’s this great big powerful thing called machine learning," Hooker said, "but we don’t understand how it deals with uncertainty very well, and we don’t have great ways of looking at what it’s actually giving us."