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Carlos Zednik
Eindhoven University of Technology
  1. Solving the Black Box Problem: A Normative Framework for Explainable Artificial Intelligence.Carlos Zednik - 2019 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (2):265-288.
    Many of the computing systems programmed using Machine Learning are opaque: it is difficult to know why they do what they do or how they work. Explainable Artificial Intelligence aims to develop analytic techniques that render opaque computing systems transparent, but lacks a normative framework with which to evaluate these techniques’ explanatory successes. The aim of the present discussion is to develop such a framework, paying particular attention to different stakeholders’ distinct explanatory requirements. Building on an analysis of “opacity” from (...)
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  2. The Nature of Dynamical Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.
    The received view of dynamical explanation is that dynamical cognitive science seeks to provide covering law explanations of cognitive phenomena. By analyzing three prominent examples of dynamicist research, I show that the received view is misleading: some dynamical explanations are mechanistic explanations, and in this way resemble computational and connectionist explanations. Interestingly, these dynamical explanations invoke the mathematical framework of dynamical systems theory to describe mechanisms far more complex and distributed than the ones typically considered by philosophers. Therefore, contemporary dynamicist (...)
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    Scientific Exploration and Explainable Artificial Intelligence.Carlos Zednik & Hannes Boelsen - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (1):219-239.
    Models developed using machine learning are increasingly prevalent in scientific research. At the same time, these models are notoriously opaque. Explainable AI aims to mitigate the impact of opacity by rendering opaque models transparent. More than being just the solution to a problem, however, Explainable AI can also play an invaluable role in scientific exploration. This paper describes how post-hoc analytic techniques from Explainable AI can be used to refine target phenomena in medical science, to identify starting points for future (...)
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    Bayesian reverse-engineering considered as a research strategy for cognitive science.Carlos Zednik & Frank Jäkel - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3951-3985.
    Bayesian reverse-engineering is a research strategy for developing three-level explanations of behavior and cognition. Starting from a computational-level analysis of behavior and cognition as optimal probabilistic inference, Bayesian reverse-engineers apply numerous tweaks and heuristics to formulate testable hypotheses at the algorithmic and implementational levels. In so doing, they exploit recent technological advances in Bayesian artificial intelligence, machine learning, and statistics, but also consider established principles from cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Although these tweaks and heuristics are highly pragmatic in character and (...)
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  5. Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2015 - In P. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology. An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 295-318.
    The philosophical conception of mechanistic explanation is grounded on a limited number of canonical examples. These examples provide an overly narrow view of contemporary scientific practice, because they do not reflect the extent to which the heuristic strategies and descriptive practices that contribute to mechanistic explanation have evolved beyond the well-known methods of decomposition, localization, and pictorial representation. Recent examples from evolutionary robotics and network approaches to biology and neuroscience demonstrate the increasingly important role played by computer simulations and mathematical (...)
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  6. A Perceptual Account of Symbolic Reasoning.David Landy, Colin Allen & Carlos Zednik - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity—the capacity for symbolic reasoning—as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often (...)
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    Mechanisms in Cognitive Science.Carlos Zednik - 2017 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 389-400.
    This chapter subsumes David Marr’s levels of analysis account of explanation in cognitive science under the framework of mechanistic explanation: Answering the questions that define each one of Marr’s three levels is tantamount to describing the component parts and operations of mechanisms, as well as their organization, behavior, and environmental context. By explicating these questions and showing how they are answered in several different cognitive science research programs, this chapter resolves some of the ambiguities that remain in Marr’s account, and (...)
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    Are Systems Neuroscience Explanations Mechanistic?Carlos Zednik - unknown
    Whereas most branches of neuroscience are thought to provide mechanistic explanations, systems neuroscience is not. Two reasons are traditionally cited in support of this conclusion. First, systems neuroscientists rarely, if ever, rely on the dual strategies of decomposition and localization. Second, they typically emphasize organizational properties over the properties of individual components. In this paper, I argue that neither reason is conclusive: researchers might rely on alternative strategies for mechanism discovery, and focusing on organization is often appropriate and consistent with (...)
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    Models and mechanisms in network neuroscience.Carlos Zednik - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):23-51.
    This paper considers the way mathematical and computational models are used in network neuroscience to deliver mechanistic explanations. Two case studies are considered: Recent work on klinotaxis by Caenorhabditis elegans, and a longstanding research effort on the network basis of schizophrenia in humans. These case studies illustrate the various ways in which network, simulation and dynamical models contribute to the aim of representing and understanding network mechanisms in the brain, and thus, of delivering mechanistic explanations. After outlining this mechanistic construal (...)
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    Computational Cognitive Neuroscience.Carlos Zednik - 2018 - In Mark Sprevak & Matteo Colombo (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind. Routledge.
    This chapter provides an overview of the basic research strategies and analytic techniques deployed in computational cognitive neuroscience. On the one hand, “top-down” strategies are used to infer, from formal characterizations of behavior and cognition, the computational properties of underlying neural mechanisms. On the other hand, “bottom-up” research strategies are used to identify neural mechanisms and to reconstruct their computational capacities. Both of these strategies rely on experimental techniques familiar from other branches of neuroscience, including functional magnetic resonance imaging, single-cell (...)
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  11. Meeting in the Dark Room: Bayesian Rational Analysis and Hierarchical Predictive Coding,.Sascha Benjamin Fink & Carlos Zednik - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    At least two distinct modeling frameworks contribute to the view that mind and brain are Bayesian: Bayesian Rational Analysis (BRA) and Hierarchical Predictive Coding (HPC). What is the relative contribution of each, and how exactly do they relate? In order to answer this question, we compare the way in which these two modeling frameworks address different levels of analysis within Marr’s tripartite conception of explanation in cognitive science. Whereas BRA answers questions at the computational level only, many HPC-theorists answer questions (...)
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    Descending Marr's levels: Standard observers are no panacea.Carlos Zednik & Frank Jäkel - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:e249.
    According to Marr, explanations of perceptual behavior should address multiple levels of analysis. Rahnev & Denison (R&D) are perhaps overly dismissive of optimality considerations at the computational level. Also, an exclusive reliance on standard observer models may cause neglect of many other plausible hypotheses at the algorithmic level. Therefore, as far as explanation goes, standard observer modeling is no panacea.
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