Explainability is a key concept for coaches and even A.I.

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Explainability is a valid English word referring to the ability to explain something or provide an explanation.

Some key points about the word "explainability":

  • It is formed by adding the suffix "-ability" to the root word "explain", making it a noun referring to a state or quality.

  • The usage of explainability is often found in technical contexts, especially in fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

  • In AI, "explainability" refers to how well a model or system can be understood and interpreted by humans in terms the decisions and predictions it makes. Increased explainability is a goal in AI development.

  • The word is included in the standard dictionaries:

    • Merriam-Webster defines explainability as "the quality or state of being explainable"
    • Oxford Dictionaries defines it as "the quality of being explicable or interpretable"
  • It follows conventions for forming similar abstract noun forms like "understandability", "readability", "visibility", etc.

  • While not extremely common in everyday language, it is a widely accepted technical term, especially in academic papers on artificial intelligence published over the past 5-10 years.

So in summary, explainability is a legitimate English word and sees meaningful usage as a technical term in fields like AI research where human understanding of automated systems is important. The ability to explain or interpret the workings of AI is key for safety and transparency.

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Webmaster and long-time open-source advocate. Also a swim, water polo and SKWIM coach in Pittsburgh.

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