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Cultural Bias in Explainable AI Research: A Systematic Analysis

Core Concepts
The author argues that XAI research overlooks cultural differences in explanatory needs, leading to a bias towards Western populations. The approach of assuming universal explanatory needs across cultures is problematic.
The content discusses the cultural bias in Explainable AI (XAI) research, highlighting the lack of consideration for cultural variations in human explanatory needs. It emphasizes the prevalence of Western-centric assumptions in XAI designs and user studies. The analysis reveals significant shortcomings in addressing diverse cultural perspectives and calls for increased awareness and inclusivity in XAI research. The study explores the impact of internalist explanations on different cultures, pointing out how individualist and collectivist societies may prefer distinct types of explanations. It highlights the need for more externalist explanations to cater to diverse cultural preferences. Additionally, it discusses the limitations of WEIRD sampling practices and suggests strategies to enhance cultural diversity in XAI user studies. Furthermore, the analysis uncovers hasty generalizations made in XAI user studies, where findings are extrapolated beyond their sample populations without sufficient evidence or justification. The content stresses the importance of acknowledging and addressing these biases to ensure more inclusive and culturally sensitive XAI developments.
"We also analyzed over 30 literature reviews of XAI studies." "Most reviews did not mention cultural differences in explanatory needs or flag overly broad cross-cultural extrapolations of XAI user study results."
"Our analyses provide evidence of a cultural bias toward Western populations in XAI research." "Many currently popular XAI designs for lay-users rest on the assumption that people prefer internalist explanations of behavior."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Uwe Peters,M... at 03-12-2024
Cultural Bias in Explainable AI Research

Deeper Inquiries

How can researchers effectively address cultural variations in XAI design without falling into stereotypes?

Researchers can effectively address cultural variations in XAI design by first acknowledging the diversity of human experiences and perspectives. It is essential to recognize that culture is a complex and multifaceted concept that goes beyond simple dichotomies like individualist versus collectivist or WEIRD versus non-WEIRD. Researchers should engage with diverse communities, consult with experts in cross-cultural psychology, anthropology, and sociology, and conduct thorough literature reviews on cultural differences relevant to their research. To avoid falling into stereotypes, researchers should prioritize inclusivity and sensitivity when designing XAI systems. This includes: Diverse Sampling: Actively seek out participants from various cultural backgrounds to ensure representation across different groups. Cultural Sensitivity Training: Provide training for researchers on how to approach culturally sensitive topics respectfully and ethically. Collaboration: Work closely with individuals from different cultures throughout the research process to gain insights and feedback. Adaptability: Design XAI systems that are flexible enough to accommodate different explanatory needs based on cultural preferences. By incorporating these strategies, researchers can create more inclusive and culturally responsive XAI designs that respect the diversity of human experiences without resorting to stereotypes.

How might incorporating externalist explanations benefit human-AI interactions beyond Western contexts?

Incorporating externalist explanations in XAI designs can benefit human-AI interactions beyond Western contexts by aligning better with the explanatory preferences of individuals from non-Western cultures who may prioritize social norms, context-specific factors, or situational influences over internal mental states when explaining behavior. Benefits of incorporating externalist explanations include: Enhanced Trust: Providing explanations grounded in external factors can increase trust between users and AI systems by making outputs more relatable and understandable within specific socio-cultural contexts. Improved User Experience: Users from non-Western cultures may find it easier to engage with AI systems that offer explanations aligned with their preference for contextualized reasoning. Cultural Inclusivity: By considering diverse explanatory needs, AI designers demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and respect for varied cultural perspectives. Ultimately, incorporating externalist explanations broadens the appeal of AI technologies globally by catering to a wider range of users' cognitive styles and preferences while fostering cross-cultural understanding in human-AI interactions.

What steps can be taken to encourage more diverse sampling practices in XAI user studies?

To encourage more diverse sampling practices in XAI user studies, researchers can take several proactive steps: Utilize Multiple Recruitment Channels: Beyond traditional methods like MTurk or Prolific, explore alternative platforms specifically designed for global recruitment such as LabintheWild or regional crowdsourcing services. Engage Local Communities: Collaborate with community organizations or institutions within underrepresented populations to recruit participants authentically. Provide Incentives: Offer incentives tailored towards diverse populations (e.g., language support) to attract a broader range of participants. 4Ethical Considerations: Ensure ethical considerations are prioritized when recruiting participants from marginalized communities 5Transparency: Be transparent about sample demographics including nationality ethnicity etc By implementing these strategies alongside an ongoing commitment towards promoting diversity inclusion equity within research practices we will see improved representation across various demographic groups leading ultimately toward richer more generalizable findings