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What is Interpretable Machine Learning

Rory Donovan
August 23, 2023

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In machine learning, it can be easy to be drawn to the allure of “black box” models with their remarkable predictive power. However, critics say these models produce valuable output that is too complex for humans to understand. These models often lack transparency, which prevents us from comprehending how they make their decisions.

This lack of transparency raises concerns about trust, accountability, and ethics. That is why interpretable machine learning emerges as a solution to address these challenges. It offers a pathway for us to truly comprehend and justify the decisions made by AI models.

Interpretable Models

Interpretable models aim to provide understandable explanations for humans, providing valuable insights into the data instead of relying solely on complex algorithms that are hard to interpret. In that sense, interpretable machine learning is the process or practice of building models that produce accurate predictions while providing understandable insights into how those decisions were made.

Benefits of Interpretable Machine Learning

There are several advantages to interpretable models:

Enhanced Trust and Accountability

Gain confidence and foster accountability by understanding the reasoning behind each prediction in critical applications, such as healthcare and finance. With interpretable models, stakeholders can grasp the drivers behind predictions, ensuring transparency and minimizing potential biases.

Ethical Considerations

Interpretability is crucial in identifying and rectifying biases or discrimination in AI models. Through clear insights into the factors that influence predictions, models can be audited for fairness, encouraging ethical AI practices.

Regulatory Compliance

Interpretable models offer transparency in industries subject to strict regulations regarding decision-making processes. Regulators and auditors can scrutinize and validate outcomes, ensuring compliance and regulation adherence.

Insight Generation

Interpretable models provide actionable insights by highlighting the most influential factors in predictions. These insights empower domain experts to make informed decisions and develop effective strategies.

Interpretability vs. Predictability

Interpretability and predictability, though related, serve different functions. Predictability is concerned with generating accurate outcomes, while interpretability is focused on comprehending the mode’s reasoning. 

While certain complex models excel in predictability, they often lack interpretability, leaving users uncertain. Achieving the right balance between these aspects is vital, especially in high-stakes scenarios where model explanations are indispensable.

Integrate Interpretable Models Into Your Business

Navigate the ethical and practical challenges posed by modern AI systems in terms of interpretability with the help of VirtuousAI. We ensure that our clients and customers understand why their systems made certain decisions or predictions. Talk to our AI consultants today.

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