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Data Miners /Data Scientists Responsibility for Predictions?


Should data scientists / data miners be responsible for their predictions?
[242 voters]
No, they should not be responsible (108)  45%
Not sure (32)  13%
They can be held financially responsible, but if they also benefit from correct predictions (89)  37%
They can be held criminally responsible for wrong predictions (13)  5%


Gregory PS, Editor, Oct 30, 2012, Data Scientists Responsibility for Predictions
Recently, an Italian judge held 7 scientists criminally responsible for failure to predict an earthquake.
Earthquake prediction is very uncertain, so in my opinion it was a bad decision, but data scientists should be aware that the hype around capabilities of Big Data can lead to a backlash if something does not work. Excluding cases when predictions are trivial (sun will come up tomorrow) or impossible beyond a random guess, when data scientists should be responsible for their predictions?

Olfa Nasraoui, Oct 31, 2012, They can be cross-validated not prosecuted
Earthquake prediction is already an uncertain task. To prosecute the data scientists is abusive in my opinion. I know that this may sound ridiculous but they can be cross-validated not prosecuted! In other words, just like their prediction models, their predictions can be tracked over decades and validated to gauge their detection and false alarm rates and then given a rating score if needed, not prosecuted.
Data scientists should also start to deliver their predictions accompanied by some fine print to protect them from liability especially in the face of concept drift and other casual annoyances ;)

Charlie Kufs, Nov 2, 2012, The age of responsibility
When politicians can be held liable for their policies, and bankers can be held liable for their practices, and judges can be held liable for their rulings, and ministers can be held liable for their teachings, then it might be appropriate to look at the numbercrunchers.

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