Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Jerry Martin

New member
As we already discussed here, forecasting would be really, really convenient in supply domain. However it is rare to do humanly and some just fails at that, putting their businesses at risk just because of their bets, because you need bets and risks to make it worth the investment, otherwise the investment won't bring much.
So, some thinks about letting computer doing tasks. While financial world is not really a domain of supply, they use forecasting model every time to forecast the market and place orders. Does it work or not? I don't know, but I know it exists, at least.

For your business, would you rely on a computer forecast? How much confidence do you need? 50% being the random confidence, because between yes and no, a random choice will choose at 50% the right one, what confidence do you need in the forecast to find it useful? How would you test it?
 

nytegeek

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

There is still a large amount of human decision making and data sourcing involved in automated forecasting. I don't trust it any more or less then any other method to be completely honest.
 

Corzhens

Member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

For me, an automated forecasting is just a tool for making decisions. It is still the human who would make the decision. Being a tool, the automated forecast makes it easier for the human to decide since all the underlying factors have been already considered by the program. There is this factor called discretion and only a human is fit for that. However, maybe when the programs get too far advanced, maybe we can leave the decision to the computer. But have you heard of the Google Car that runs without driver? The computer is the one doing the decision so it is fully automated. However, they still cannot pass the tests.
 

nytegeek

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Exactly. Automation is only a tool. It doesn't replace Human decision making or forecasting, it just makes the task easier.
 

Corzhens

Member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Exactly. Automation is only a tool. It doesn't replace Human decision making or forecasting, it just makes the task easier.
This is related to the computerized election in the Philippines this coming month of May. In 2013, we had a computerized election that despite garnering a ton of criticisms, the activity was successful and completed. As you said, the automation just made the job easier. Obviously, it is true because the result of the voting was already known one day after the elections unlike before when the manual counting was done, it takes weeks. However, the question is the cheating in the election but that's another issue.
 

Norm

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

I would only rely on it as a guide but ultimately I will not consider it as complex and dependable as the best human mind I can hire. Maybe someday when the technology for it arrives at the state where it can surpass humans in this specific task but for now I don't think they are at that point of reliability just yet, so I wouldn't put my trust completely on it especially when there is huge sums of money involved.
 

xTinx

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Computer technology can predict trends and likely outcomes since a great number of business and personal transactions these days are dealt with online. Sometimes, the prediction hits the mark, sometimes it doesn't. Technology's ability to predict results still has a long way to go. It is, after all, created by humans, who are far from perfect. Until, we can get rid of any margin of error, placing your confidence in computer-predicted outcomes is not advisable.
 

Corzhens

Member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Computer technology can predict trends and likely outcomes since a great number of business and personal transactions these days are dealt with online. Sometimes, the prediction hits the mark, sometimes it doesn't. Technology's ability to predict results still has a long way to go. It is, after all, created by humans, who are far from perfect. Until, we can get rid of any margin of error, placing your confidence in computer-predicted outcomes is not advisable.
I've heard of a computer program that is being used in the stock exchange. My nephew who is a stock broker said that program predicts the most possible scenario in the trading floor before the start of day. However, there are times that the prediction is awry or far from actual but most of the times, take note of the adverb, the prediction comes true because it is based on the data gathered from the previous month's trading. But I agree to what you said that there is a margin of error so you cannot fully trust the computer.
 

Norm

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Computer technology can predict trends and likely outcomes since a great number of business and personal transactions these days are dealt with online. Sometimes, the prediction hits the mark, sometimes it doesn't. Technology's ability to predict results still has a long way to go. It is, after all, created by humans, who are far from perfect. Until, we can get rid of any margin of error, placing your confidence in computer-predicted outcomes is not advisable.
Agreed. I think computers for now are mostly only good for predicting patterns with as little variable as possible. However I think changes will come soon with regards to this because Google as well as a few other tech companies have come up with AI that were able to beat humans in games with unlimited variables, so maybe in just a few years we'll see this progress more and more.
 

nytegeek

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Computer models are used already as a main method of predicting weather. Where do you think forecasters get their data from for longer term forecasts? It's not the Farmer's Almanac, I'll guarantee that.
 

rz3300

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Well to be honest I would put a lot more confidence in that than I would your average, run of the mill financial representative. These programs today can perform a lot of different and complex functions that would have been impossible even a few years ago, and they can detect patterns and analyze data in ways that are very helpful to business. The key is finding someone who can take it from there and apply what the computer says to their company and maximize that profit.
 

nytegeek

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Well to be honest I would put a lot more confidence in that than I would your average, run of the mill financial representative. These programs today can perform a lot of different and complex functions that would have been impossible even a few years ago, and they can detect patterns and analyze data in ways that are very helpful to business. The key is finding someone who can take it from there and apply what the computer says to their company and maximize that profit.
Exactly. Computer systems are already in use in many cases as it is. The ability to quickly examine the data from every angle is important as well.
 

pwarbi

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

I think the day's are fast disappearing of people not trusting computers, and while I do think that when you're talking about a forecast or a prediction of how a business is going to run in the future, a lot is going to depend on how good the past data is that you present it with. Before computers where used as much as they are today, we tried to predict how our business would perform in the future from past data and that hasn't changed, it's just the way we do it that's different and the amount of time it takes.

Computers have transformed the way businesses run but a lot of that is because they have made the processes we've done for many years a lot faster and a lot more streamlined.
 

Norm

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

I think the day's are fast disappearing of people not trusting computers, and while I do think that when you're talking about a forecast or a prediction of how a business is going to run in the future, a lot is going to depend on how good the past data is that you present it with. Before computers where used as much as they are today, we tried to predict how our business would perform in the future from past data and that hasn't changed, it's just the way we do it that's different and the amount of time it takes.

Computers have transformed the way businesses run but a lot of that is because they have made the processes we've done for many years a lot faster and a lot more streamlined.
Great point. No matter how good the program is, the results you get from it will only be as good as the quality and amount of information you put in so if one is to trust computers for forecasting I think a lot of research is still required to make sure that the program has sufficient data to provide for the best results and the good part of that is that once you do find the right program you could depend on it with a bit more confidence instead of having to conjure up predictions and doing research for it each time.
 

rz3300

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Great point. No matter how good the program is, the results you get from it will only be as good as the quality and amount of information you put in
Very true, but the good news there is that that can be the last step now. With the new software out there, you have pre-designed program to take this data and analyze it for you, and point out trends in behaviors. I would say that there is still a good amount of work involved in implementing this software to the point where it is trusted, but once that is done you can really do nuts and start to do a lot of research that will help your company. Good stuff, and thanks for sharing.
 

pwarbi

New member
Re: Forecasts from a computer: how much confidence would you put inside it?

Taking notice of the forecast is one thing though, but for me the main thing you have to do is make sure that you are willing to bend and break away from that forecast if need be. I think that these days we tend to rely too much on computers and even though they are a lot more accurate at predicting what's going to happen in the future, at the same time it can only predict based on the information it's been given. If that information changes, then that also means that the forecast can also change as well so we have to be willing to re-evaluate matters on the go.
 
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