Uncertainty as a Form of Transparency: Measuring, Communicating, and Using Uncertainty

by   Umang Bhatt, et al.

Transparency of algorithmic systems entails exposing system properties to various stakeholders for purposes that include understanding, improving, and/or contesting predictions. The machine learning (ML) community has mostly considered explainability as a proxy for transparency. With this work, we seek to encourage researchers to study uncertainty as a form of transparency and practitioners to communicate uncertainty estimates to stakeholders. First, we discuss methods for assessing uncertainty. Then, we describe the utility of uncertainty for mitigating model unfairness, augmenting decision-making, and building trustworthy systems. We also review methods for displaying uncertainty to stakeholders and discuss how to collect information required for incorporating uncertainty into existing ML pipelines. Our contribution is an interdisciplinary review to inform how to measure, communicate, and use uncertainty as a form of transparency.


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