Arthur B.
Arthur B. Arthur Breitman. Machine learning, functional programming, applied cryptography, and these days mostly #tezos. Husband of @breitwoman, oligocoiner.

The name “probabilistic programming” is just terrible.

As much as I love the concept probabilistic programming, the name makes me cringe every time I hear it. It’s verbose, doesn’t abbreviate well and borders on being on a tongue twister. More substantially, the name suggests that the act 0f programming itself is probabilistic, which is a real but distinct phenomenom.

Worse, rather than highlighting the key value proposition: automated inference, the name suggests a focus on the development of probabilistic programs. Perhaps, as a result, many introductions to probabilistic programming concern themselves almost exclusively on the comparatively trivial task of expressing models as algorithms while blissfully ignoring the thorny problem of inference.

I suggest talking about “automated inference” instead. It rolls of the tongue much more easily, and, more importantly, gets to the heart of the matter.

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