A general framework for scientifically inspired explanations in AI

2 Mar 2020  ·  David Tuckey, Alessandra Russo, Krysia Broda ·

Explainability in AI is gaining attention in the computer science community in response to the increasing success of deep learning and the important need of justifying how such systems make predictions in life-critical applications. The focus of explainability in AI has predominantly been on trying to gain insights into how machine learning systems function by exploring relationships between input data and predicted outcomes or by extracting simpler interpretable models. Through literature surveys of philosophy and social science, authors have highlighted the sharp difference between these generated explanations and human-made explanations and claimed that current explanations in AI do not take into account the complexity of human interaction to allow for effective information passing to not-expert users. In this paper we instantiate the concept of structure of scientific explanation as the theoretical underpinning for a general framework in which explanations for AI systems can be implemented. This framework aims to provide the tools to build a "mental-model" of any AI system so that the interaction with the user can provide information on demand and be closer to the nature of human-made explanations. We illustrate how we can utilize this framework through two very different examples: an artificial neural network and a Prolog solver and we provide a possible implementation for both examples.

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