Explainability has been a goal for Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems since their conception, with the need for explainability growing as more complex AI models are increasingly used in critical, high-stakes settings such as healthcare. Explanations have often added to an AI system in a non-principled, post-hoc manner. With greater adoption of these systems and emphasis on user-centric explainability, there is a need for a structured representation that treats explainability as a primary consideration, mapping end user needs to specific explanation types and the system's AI capabilities. We design an explanation ontology to model both the role of explanations, accounting for the system and user attributes in the process, and the range of different literature-derived explanation types. We indicate how the ontology can support user requirements for explanations in the domain of healthcare. We evaluate our ontology with a set of competency questions geared towards a system designer who might use our ontology to decide which explanation types to include, given a combination of users' needs and a system's capabilities, both in system design settings and in real-time operations. Through the use of this ontology, system designers will be able to make informed choices on which explanations AI systems can and should provide.
Explainability has been an important goal since the early days of Artificial Intelligence. Several approaches for producing explanations have been developed. However, many of these approaches were tightly coupled with the capabilities of the artificial intelligence systems at the time. With the proliferation of AI-enabled systems in sometimes critical settings, there is a need for them to be explainable to end-users and decision-makers. We present a historical overview of explainable artificial intelligence systems, with a focus on knowledge-enabled systems, spanning the expert systems, cognitive assistants, semantic applications, and machine learning domains. Additionally, borrowing from the strengths of past approaches and identifying gaps needed to make explanations user- and context-focused, we propose new definitions for explanations and explainable knowledge-enabled systems.
Interest in the field of Explainable Artificial Intelligence has been growing for decades, and has accelerated recently. As Artificial Intelligence models have become more complex, and often more opaque, with the incorporation of complex machine learning techniques, explainability has become more critical. Recently, researchers have been investigating and tackling explainability with a user-centric focus, looking for explanations to consider trustworthiness, comprehensibility, explicit provenance, and context-awareness. In this chapter, we leverage our survey of explanation literature in Artificial Intelligence and closely related fields and use these past efforts to generate a set of explanation types that we feel reflect the expanded needs of explanation for today's artificial intelligence applications. We define each type and provide an example question that would motivate the need for this style of explanation. We believe this set of explanation types will help future system designers in their generation and prioritization of requirements and further help generate explanations that are better aligned to users' and situational needs.
With the increased use of AI methods to provide recommendations in the health, specifically in the food dietary recommendation space, there is also an increased need for explainability of those recommendations. Such explanations would benefit users of recommendation systems by empowering them with justifications for following the system's suggestions. We present the Food Explanation Ontology (FEO) that provides a formalism for modeling explanations to users for food-related recommendations. FEO models food recommendations, using concepts from the explanation domain to create responses to user questions about food recommendations they receive from AI systems such as personalized knowledge base question answering systems. FEO uses a modular, extensible structure that lends itself to a variety of explanations while still preserving important semantic details to accurately represent explanations of food recommendations. In order to evaluate this system, we used a set of competency questions derived from explanation types present in literature that are relevant to food recommendations. Our motivation with the use of FEO is to empower users to make decisions about their health, fully equipped with an understanding of the AI recommender systems as they relate to user questions, by providing reasoning behind their recommendations in the form of explanations.
Academic advances of AI models in high-precision domains, like healthcare, need to be made explainable in order to enhance real-world adoption. Our past studies and ongoing interactions indicate that medical experts can use AI systems with greater trust if there are ways to connect the model inferences about patients to explanations that are tied back to the context of use. Specifically, risk prediction is a complex problem of diagnostic and interventional importance to clinicians wherein they consult different sources to make decisions. To enable the adoption of the ever improving AI risk prediction models in practice, we have begun to explore techniques to contextualize such models along three dimensions of interest: the patients' clinical state, AI predictions about their risk of complications, and algorithmic explanations supporting the predictions. We validate the importance of these dimensions by implementing a proof-of-concept (POC) in type-2 diabetes (T2DM) use case where we assess the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) - a common T2DM comorbidity. Within the POC, we include risk prediction models for CKD, post-hoc explainers of the predictions, and other natural-language modules which operationalize domain knowledge and CPGs to provide context. With primary care physicians (PCP) as our end-users, we present our initial results and clinician feedback in this paper. Our POC approach covers multiple knowledge sources and clinical scenarios, blends knowledge to explain data and predictions to PCPs, and received an enthusiastic response from our medical expert.