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Counterfactuals and Causability in Explainable Artificial Intelligence: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

There has been a growing interest in model-agnostic methods that can make deep learning models more transparent and explainable to a user. Some researchers recently argued that for a machine to achieve a certain degree of human-level explainability, this machine needs to provide human causally understandable explanations, also known as causability. A specific class of algorithms that have the potential to provide causability are counterfactuals. This paper presents an in-depth systematic review of the diverse existing body of literature on counterfactuals and causability for explainable artificial intelligence. We performed an LDA topic modelling analysis under a PRISMA framework to find the most relevant literature articles. This analysis resulted in a novel taxonomy that considers the grounding theories of the surveyed algorithms, together with their underlying properties and applications in real-world data. This research suggests that current model-agnostic counterfactual algorithms for explainable AI are not grounded on a causal theoretical formalism and, consequently, cannot promote causability to a human decision-maker. Our findings suggest that the explanations derived from major algorithms in the literature provide spurious correlations rather than cause/effects relationships, leading to sub-optimal, erroneous or even biased explanations. This paper also advances the literature with new directions and challenges on promoting causability in model-agnostic approaches for explainable artificial intelligence.


Explainable Artificial Intelligence: a Systematic Review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This has led to the development of a plethora of domain-dependent and context-specific methods for dealing with the interpretation of machine learning (ML) models and the formation of explanations for humans. Unfortunately, this trend is far from being over, with an abundance of knowledge in the field which is scattered and needs organisation. The goal of this article is to systematically review research works in the field of XAI and to try to define some boundaries in the field. From several hundreds of research articles focused on the concept of explainability, about 350 have been considered for review by using the following search methodology. In a first phase, Google Scholar was queried to find papers related to "explainable artificial intelligence", "explainable machine learning" and "interpretable machine learning". Subsequently, the bibliographic section of these articles was thoroughly examined to retrieve further relevant scientific studies. The first noticeable thing, as shown in figure 2 (a), is the distribution of the publication dates of selected research articles: sporadic in the 70s and 80s, receiving preliminary attention in the 90s, showing raising interest in 2000 and becoming a recognised body of knowledge after 2010. The first research concerned the development of an explanation-based system and its integration in a computer program designed to help doctors make diagnoses [3]. Some of the more recent papers focus on work devoted to the clustering of methods for explainability, motivating the need for organising the XAI literature [4, 5, 6].


A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.


Explanation in Human-AI Systems: A Literature Meta-Review, Synopsis of Key Ideas and Publications, and Bibliography for Explainable AI

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This is an integrative review that address the question, "What makes for a good explanation?" with reference to AI systems. Pertinent literatures are vast. Thus, this review is necessarily selective. That said, most of the key concepts and issues are expressed in this Report. The Report encapsulates the history of computer science efforts to create systems that explain and instruct (intelligent tutoring systems and expert systems). The Report expresses the explainability issues and challenges in modern AI, and presents capsule views of the leading psychological theories of explanation. Certain articles stand out by virtue of their particular relevance to XAI, and their methods, results, and key points are highlighted. It is recommended that AI/XAI researchers be encouraged to include in their research reports fuller details on their empirical or experimental methods, in the fashion of experimental psychology research reports: details on Participants, Instructions, Procedures, Tasks, Dependent Variables (operational definitions of the measures and metrics), Independent Variables (conditions), and Control Conditions.