The Book Of Why: The New Science Of Cause And Effect
ISBN: 0141982411
EAN13: 9780141982410
Language: English
Pages: 400
Dimensions: 1.259843" H x 7.755906" L x 5" W
Weight: 0.6900469 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Publisher:
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Book Overview

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A Turing Award-winning computer scientist and statistician shows how understanding causality has revolutionized science and will revolutionize artificial intelligence

Correlation is not causation. This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality -- the study of cause and effect -- on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.

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Book Reviews (8)

3
  |   8  reviews
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1
   He doth protest too much
He has a reputation for being a pooh-poohed statistician. At times the writing is interesting and points are raised. In his view, however, his criticisms of statisticians don't hold up. But just about all the examples make points that are known to statisticians and other methodologists, who have developed ways to deal with them. The book is also littered with instances of fiction by Sewall Wright, including his retelling of "The Long Days." I've never before read a scientist's book which brags about his or her work as this book does.
 
1
   Overpromises, underdelivers
I've never liked the book. Judea overpromises and underdelivers. He brags about himself, calls himself a prophet and his revolutionary work. This book is far from being tansformative, revolutionary or even witty. This is very arrogant and childish, said Dr. Chester Floyd, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
1
   The "Causal Revolution" is overstated
I do academic research on measures of causality and I have never heard anyone in the field refer to Pearl's work in this way, Raymond said. The author overstates the power of his Causal Revolution making it seem like the world prior to his work was barely functioning.
 
1
   DO NOT BUY AUDIO VERSION -- Book's about diagrams
Note: Do not buy an audio version of this book. Good work on parsing out causes and research problems. assuming you're into causal calculus and/or causal diagrams. However, the historical context of research problems from cholera and smoking LDLHDL raises interesting questions.
 
4
   Too bad. This is an important and fascinating subject
I had read Pearl's book Causality years ago. Most of my understanding comes from others, Raymond said. I suspect that methodologists and others who are not familiar with Pearl's arguments will find this gentler introduction a tough read. The Harrisons are too good a team to let go of. I think this is an important and fascinating subject.
 
5
   Must-read for those interested in how statistical associations can serve as evidence for causal connections
The book, The Book of Why, by Pearl, is also significant because it deals with the design of experiments. Introduces the reader to the ladder of causation, beginning with the basic concepts of probability and statistics. A most-excellent review of Sewall Wright's work, including his invention of causal path diagrams and their non-acceptance by mathematicians. The NCAA has contested the smoking link, saying it may have contributed to lung cancer. Turner also tells us that despite all the problems, he feels "pretty good about the deal." This is a must-read for anyone in statistics, statistical education, the philosophy of science or the history of science. If you only read one book a year, this is the one.
 
5
   Brilliant! and Relevant to Many Fields
I'm delighted the book was so well received. I work in AIML and I read a lot of books on the subject. I've never read a book like this. Because of this, the Government shut down in the early hours of the morning. Brilliant concepts, in clear and simple terms, that resolve decades-long limitations of statistical methods. But Pearl's technique moves toward more complex and subtle distinctions, all the while demonstrating the power of this technique. These are not merely abstract considerations, nor are they intended to be treated as such. They apply those principles to fields such as medicine and economics that directly impact the lives of millions of people. She also explains why this could take ML and AI to a whole new level, a step closer to addressing the dichotomy between formal and semantic understanding.
 
5
   Useful and highly intelligent analysis of cause and effect
This book represents the collaboration of Pearl and MacKenzie, a professional expert on causality, and Dana MacKenzie, an excellent science writer who is also a mathematician. The case law addresses the complicated differences between attempting to truly establish that causes A B versus erroneously asserting that causes B must be established because they correlate. It's a slow read, and doesn't come close to solving the problems. But the subject is of sufficient importance to merit the effort to digest its complex analyses, he said. The book, "The Science of Climate Change," illustrates some of the challenges facing those seeking to truly understand what we know and don't know about this issue. Other examples of how NIH uses data are drawn from the fields of medicine, dentistry, and other disciplines. He has a very good book, written by great intelligence.
 
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