Teaching Meaningful Explanations

by   Noel C. F. Codella, et al.

The adoption of machine learning in high-stakes applications such as healthcare and law has lagged in part because predictions are not accompanied by explanations comprehensible to the domain user, who often holds ultimate responsibility for decisions and outcomes. In this paper, we propose an approach to generate such explanations in which training data is augmented to include, in addition to features and labels, explanations elicited from domain users. A joint model is then learned to produce both labels and explanations from the input features. This simple idea ensures that explanations are tailored to the complexity expectations and domain knowledge of the consumer. Evaluation spans multiple modeling techniques on a simple game dataset, an image dataset, and a chemical odor dataset, showing that our approach is generalizable across domains and algorithms. Results demonstrate that meaningful explanations can be reliably taught to machine learning algorithms, and in some cases, improve modeling accuracy.


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