Bridging the transparency gap: What can explainable AI learn from the AI Act?

Balint Gyevnar*, Nick Ferguson, Burkhard Schafer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The European Union has proposed the Artificial Intelligence Act which introduces detailed requirements of transparency for AI systems. Many of these requirements can be addressed by the field of explainable AI (XAI), however, there is a fundamental difference between XAI and the Act regarding what transparency is. The Act views transparency as a means that supports wider values, such as accountability, human rights, and sustainable innovation. In contrast, XAI views transparency narrowly as an end in itself, focusing on explaining complex algorithmic properties without considering the socio-technical context. We call this difference the “transparency gap”. Failing to address the transparency gap, XAI risks leaving a range of transparency issues unaddressed. To begin to bridge this gap, we overview and clarify the terminology of how XAI and European regulation – the Act and the related General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – view basic definitions of transparency. By comparing the disparate views of XAI and regulation, we arrive at four axes where practical work could bridge the transparency gap: defining the scope of transparency, clarifying the legal status of XAI, addressing issues with conformity assessment, and building explainability for datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ECAI 2023, the 26th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence
EditorsKobi Gal, Ann Nowé, Grzegorz J. Nalepa, Roy Fairstein, Roxana Rădulescu
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Pages964 - 971
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781643684376
ISBN (Print)9781643684369
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2023
Event26th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence - ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Kraków, Poland
Duration: 30 Sept 20235 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0922-6389
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8314


Conference26th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Abbreviated titleECAI 2023
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Artificial intelligence
  • AI Regulation
  • XAI
  • explainability
  • EU AI Act


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