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WLA Prize Laureates Lecture: On machine learning and economic mechanism design

Date Nov. 18, 2022

The WLA Prize held a celebratory lecture series during the 5th WLA Forum in Shanghai from Nov. 3 to Nov.7. Michael I. Jordan, the inaugural WLA Prize Laureate in Computer Science or Mathematics, delivered the academic lecture on Nov. 7, talked about his research and the future development of the field. His lecture title is: On machine learning and economic mechanism design. The lecture was broadcast live.

Lecture abstract:

Machine learning has made significant progress in recent years.  Much of this progress has been on the pattern-recognition side of the field. I will focus instead on the decision-making side, where many fundamental challenges remain. Statistical decisions are often given meaning in the context of other decisions, particularly when there are scarce resources to be shared. Managing such sharing is one of the classical goals of microeconomics, and it is given new relevance in the modern setting of large, human-focused datasets, and in data-analytic contexts such as classifiers and recommendation systems. 

I'll discuss several recent projects that aim to explore the interface between machine learning and microeconomics, including leader/follower dynamics in strategic classification, and the use of contract theory as a way to design mechanisms that perform statistical inference.