Local Explanations Via Necessity and Sufficiency: Unifying Theory and Practice

Synthese

16 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 10 Mar 2022

See all articles by David Watson

David Watson

King's College London

Limor Gultchin

affiliation not provided to SSRN; University of Oxford

Ankur Taly

Google Inc. - Google Research Mountain View

Luciano Floridi

Yale University - Digital Ethics Center; University of Bologna- Department of Legal Studies

Date Written: June 10, 2021

Abstract

Necessity and sufficiency are the building blocks of all successful explanations. Yet despite their importance, these notions have been conceptually underdeveloped and inconsistently applied in explainable artificial intelligence (XAI), a fast-growing research area that is so far lacking in firm theoretical foundations. Building on work in logic, probability, and causality, we establish the central role of necessity and sufficiency in XAI, unifying seemingly disparate methods in a single formal framework. We provide a sound and complete algorithm for computing explanatory factors with respect to a given context, and demonstrate its flexibility and competitive performance against state of the art alternatives on various tasks.

Keywords: Philosophy, Ethics, Technology, AI

Suggested Citation

Watson, David and Gultchin, Limor and Gultchin, Limor and Taly, Ankur and Floridi, Luciano, Local Explanations Via Necessity and Sufficiency: Unifying Theory and Practice (June 10, 2021). Synthese, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3825636 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3825636

David Watson (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Limor Gultchin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Ankur Taly

Google Inc. - Google Research Mountain View

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States

Luciano Floridi

Yale University - Digital Ethics Center ( email )

85 Trumbull Street
New Haven, CT CT 06511
United States
2034326473 (Phone)

University of Bologna- Department of Legal Studies ( email )

Via Zamboni 22
Bologna, Bo 40100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/luciano.floridi/en

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