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Explanation of Algorithm



The user wants to know, in general terms, how the AI is operating: what it takes as inputs, what calculations it runs, and what it outputs.

An image of a person created by an algorithm with an attached explanation of how the technology behind the image creation works
A GAN-created image with a pop-out text box providing the source of the image as well as links explaining how this image was created.


Either within the app or as a separate content area accessed via a link, there should be a concise but complete description of the AI's workings. It should be easily understood by lay readers and not obscure details through vague language, highly technical jargon, or misleading metaphors.


The craving to understand how things work, while not manifested in every user, is fundamental to the human condition. In some cases, users want to understand so they can determine how to drive the result they’d like to see from the algorithm. Whatever the motivation for the user, providing an explanation is more than an exercise in building trust (though it is that, too)— it can also be an opportunity to delight by satisfying a recreational curiosity or offering the user additional control. 

More Examples:

Screenshot of Microsoft's caption bot, with explanation of how the technology works
Microsoft's provides a wealth of information about how it works behind the scenes.
Side-by-side screenshots of Bing and How Old Are You, both of which include explanations behind the technology
More image recognition-based AI applications provide users with additional information on how they work.