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1st TRR 318 Conference Explaining Machines

Since 2022, TRR 318 hosts an annual international scientific conference. The first TRR 318 conference took place in 2022 under the title "Explaining Machines" at Bielefeld University and focused on the social science perspective on Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI). Further conferences with other focal points are planned for the coming years.

Currently, one of the key questions is how comprehensible explanations of the machine processes underlying artificial intelligence can be created: should humans be able to explain how machines function, or should machines learn to explain themselves?

  • “The double-meaning of the name of our conference, ‘Explaining Machines,’ expresses these various possibilities: machines explaining themselves, humans explaining machines – or maybe both at the same time,” explains Professor Dr. Elena Esposito (Project B01).

The first conference took place in June 2022 at Bielefeld University and focused on research from the social sciences on explainable artificial intelligence.

  • As Professor Dr. Tobias Matzner (Project B03) describes: “If explanations from machines are to have an impact socially and politically, it’s not enough that explanations are comprehensible to computer scientists. Different socially situated people must be included in explanatory processes – from doctors to retirees and schoolchildren.”

Future professional conferences that will focus on the concept of explainability in AI from different scientific disciplines will be held in the coming years.

Abstract and program of the first Explaining Machines Conference in 2022


A small recap from the Explaining Machines Conference in 2022