Explainable AI: Making Visual Question Answering Systems more Transparent

Speaker: Ray Mooney

Date and Time: 2pm, October 18 (Friday)

Place: Room 2405, Siebel Center


Artificial Intelligence systems' ability to explain their conclusions is crucial to their utility and trustworthiness. Deep neural networks have enabled significant progress on many challenging problems such as visual question answering (VQA), the task of answering natural language questions about images. However, most of them are opaque black boxes with limited explanatory capability. The goal of Explainable AI is to increase the transparency of complex AI systems such as deep networks. We have developed a novel approach to XAI and used it to build a high- performing VQA system that can elucidate its answers with multi-modal natural-language and visual explanations that faithfully reflect important aspects of its underlying reasoning while capturing the style of comprehensible human explanations. Crowd-sourced human evaluation of these explanations demonstrate the advantages of our approach.


Raymond J. Mooney is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He is an author of over 170 published research papers, primarily in the areas of machine learning and natural language processing. He was the President of the International Machine Learning Society from 2008-2011, program co-chair for AAAI 2006, general chair for HLT-EMNLP 2005, and co-chair for ICML 1990. He is a Fellow of AAAI, ACM, and ACL and the recipient of the Classic Paper award from AAAI-19 and best paper awards from AAAI-96, KDD-04, ICML-05 and ACL-07.