The current literature on AI-advised decision making -- involving explainable AI systems advising human decision makers -- presents a series of inconclusive and confounding results. To synthesize these findings, we propose a simple theory that elucidates the frequent failure of AI explanations to engender appropriate reliance and complementary decision making performance. We argue explanations are only useful to the extent that they allow a human decision maker to verify the correctness of an AI's prediction, in contrast to other desiderata, e.g., interpretability or spelling out the AI's reasoning process. Prior studies find in many decision making contexts AI explanations do not facilitate such verification. Moreover, most contexts fundamentally do not allow verification, regardless of explanation method. We conclude with a discussion of potential approaches for more effective explainable AI-advised decision making and human-AI collaboration.
Scholarly publications are key to the transfer of knowledge from scholars to others. However, research papers are information-dense, and as the volume of the scientific literature grows, the need for new technology to support the reading process grows. In contrast to the process of finding papers, which has been transformed by Internet technology, the experience of reading research papers has changed little in decades. The PDF format for sharing research papers is widely used due to its portability, but it has significant downsides including: static content, poor accessibility for low-vision readers, and difficulty reading on mobile devices. This paper explores the question "Can recent advances in AI and HCI power intelligent, interactive, and accessible reading interfaces -- even for legacy PDFs?" We describe the Semantic Reader Project, a collaborative effort across multiple institutions to explore automatic creation of dynamic reading interfaces for research papers. Through this project, we've developed ten research prototype interfaces and conducted usability studies with more than 300 participants and real-world users showing improved reading experiences for scholars. We've also released a production reading interface for research papers that will incorporate the best features as they mature. We structure this paper around challenges scholars and the public face when reading research papers -- Discovery, Efficiency, Comprehension, Synthesis, and Accessibility -- and present an overview of our progress and remaining open challenges.
Scientists and science journalists, among others, often need to make sense of a large number of papers and how they compare with each other in scope, focus, findings, or any other important factors. However, with a large corpus of papers, it's cognitively demanding to pairwise compare and contrast them all with each other. Fully automating this review process would be infeasible, because it often requires domain-specific knowledge, as well as understanding what the context and motivations for the review are. While there are existing tools to help with the process of organizing and annotating papers for literature reviews, at the core they still rely on people to serially read through papers and manually make sense of relevant information. We present AVTALER, which combines peoples' unique skills, contextual awareness, and knowledge, together with the strength of automation. Given a set of comparable text excerpts from a paper corpus, it supports users in sensemaking and contrasting paper attributes by interactively aligning text excerpts in a table so that comparable details are presented in a shared column. AVTALER is based on a core alignment algorithm that makes use of modern NLP tools. Furthermore, AVTALER is a mixed-initiative system: users can interactively give the system constraints which are integrated into the alignment construction process.
The in-context learning capabilities of LLMs like GPT-3 allow annotators to customize an LLM to their specific tasks with a small number of examples. However, users tend to include only the most obvious patterns when crafting examples, resulting in underspecified in-context functions that fall short on unseen cases. Further, it is hard to know when "enough" examples have been included even for known patterns. In this work, we present ScatterShot, an interactive system for building high-quality demonstration sets for in-context learning. ScatterShot iteratively slices unlabeled data into task-specific patterns, samples informative inputs from underexplored or not-yet-saturated slices in an active learning manner, and helps users label more efficiently with the help of an LLM and the current example set. In simulation studies on two text perturbation scenarios, ScatterShot sampling improves the resulting few-shot functions by 4-5 percentage points over random sampling, with less variance as more examples are added. In a user study, ScatterShot greatly helps users in covering different patterns in the input space and labeling in-context examples more efficiently, resulting in better in-context learning and less user effort.
The volume of scientific output is creating an urgent need for automated tools to help scientists keep up with developments in their field. Semantic Scholar (S2) is an open data platform and website aimed at accelerating science by helping scholars discover and understand scientific literature. We combine public and proprietary data sources using state-of-the-art techniques for scholarly PDF content extraction and automatic knowledge graph construction to build the Semantic Scholar Academic Graph, the largest open scientific literature graph to-date, with 200M+ papers, 80M+ authors, 550M+ paper-authorship edges, and 2.4B+ citation edges. The graph includes advanced semantic features such as structurally parsed text, natural language summaries, and vector embeddings. In this paper, we describe the components of the S2 data processing pipeline and the associated APIs offered by the platform. We will update this living document to reflect changes as we add new data offerings and improve existing services.
The vast scale and open-ended nature of knowledge graphs (KGs) make exploratory search over them cognitively demanding for users. We introduce a new technique, polymorphic lenses, that improves exploratory search over a KG by obtaining new leverage from the existing preference models that KG-based systems maintain for recommending content. The approach is based on a simple but powerful observation: in a KG, preference models can be re-targeted to recommend not only entities of a single base entity type (e.g., papers in the scientific literature KG, products in an e-commerce KG), but also all other types (e.g., authors, conferences, institutions; sellers, buyers). We implement our technique in a novel system, FeedLens, which is built over Semantic Scholar, a production system for navigating the scientific literature KG. FeedLens reuses the existing preference models on Semantic Scholar -- people's curated research feeds -- as lenses for exploratory search. Semantic Scholar users can curate multiple feeds/lenses for different topics of interest, e.g., one for human-centered AI and another for document embeddings. Although these lenses are defined in terms of papers, FeedLens re-purposes them to also guide search over authors, institutions, venues, etc. Our system design is based on feedback from intended users via two pilot surveys (n=17 and n=13, respectively). We compare FeedLens and Semantic Scholar via a third (within-subjects) user study (n=15) and find that FeedLens increases user engagement while reducing the cognitive effort required to complete a short literature review task. Our qualitative results also highlight people's preference for this more effective exploratory search experience enabled by FeedLens.
Systems that can automatically define unfamiliar terms hold the promise of improving the accessibility of scientific texts, especially for readers who may lack prerequisite background knowledge. However, current systems assume a single "best" description per concept, which fails to account for the many potentially useful ways a concept can be described. We present ACCoRD, an end-to-end system tackling the novel task of generating sets of descriptions of scientific concepts. Our system takes advantage of the myriad ways a concept is mentioned across the scientific literature to produce distinct, diverse descriptions of target scientific concepts in terms of different reference concepts. To support research on the task, we release an expert-annotated resource, the ACCoRD corpus, which includes 1,275 labeled contexts and 1,787 hand-authored concept descriptions. We conduct a user study demonstrating that (1) users prefer descriptions produced by our end-to-end system, and (2) users prefer multiple descriptions to a single "best" description.
Creating labeled natural language training data is expensive and requires significant human effort. We mine input output examples from large corpora using a supervised mining function trained using a small seed set of only 100 examples. The mining consists of two stages -- (1) a biencoder-based recall-oriented dense search which pairs inputs with potential outputs, and (2) a crossencoder-based filter which re-ranks the output of the biencoder stage for better precision. Unlike model-generated data augmentation, our method mines naturally occurring high-quality input output pairs to mimic the style of the seed set for multiple tasks. On SQuAD-style reading comprehension, augmenting the seed set with the mined data results in an improvement of 13 F1 over a BART-large baseline fine-tuned only on the seed set. Likewise, we see improvements of 1.46 ROUGE-L on Xsum abstractive summarization.
We stand at the foot of a significant inflection in the trajectory of scientific discovery. As society continues on its fast-paced digital transformation, so does humankind's collective scientific knowledge and discourse. We now read and write papers in digitized form, and a great deal of the formal and informal processes of science are captured digitally -- including papers, preprints and books, code and datasets, conference presentations, and interactions in social networks and communication platforms. The transition has led to the growth of a tremendous amount of information, opening exciting opportunities for computational models and systems that analyze and harness it. In parallel, exponential growth in data processing power has fueled remarkable advances in AI, including self-supervised neural models capable of learning powerful representations from large-scale unstructured text without costly human supervision. The confluence of societal and computational trends suggests that computer science is poised to ignite a revolution in the scientific process itself. However, the explosion of scientific data, results and publications stands in stark contrast to the constancy of human cognitive capacity. While scientific knowledge is expanding with rapidity, our minds have remained static, with severe limitations on the capacity for finding, assimilating and manipulating information. We propose a research agenda of task-guided knowledge retrieval, in which systems counter humans' bounded capacity by ingesting corpora of scientific knowledge and retrieving inspirations, explanations, solutions and evidence synthesized to directly augment human performance on salient tasks in scientific endeavors. We present initial progress on methods and prototypes, and lay out important opportunities and challenges ahead with computational approaches that have the potential to revolutionize science.