Dani Kiyasseh, Jasper Laca, Taseen F Haque, Brian J Miles, Christian Wagner, Daniel A Donoho, Animashree Anandkumar, Andrew J Hung
Commun Med (Lond) . 2023 Mar 30;3(1):42. doi: 10.1038/s43856-023-00263-3.
Background: Surgeons who receive reliable feedback on their performance quickly master the skills necessary for surgery. Such performance-based feedback can be provided by a recently-developed artificial intelligence (AI) system that assesses a surgeon's skills based on a surgical video while simultaneously highlighting aspects of the video most pertinent to the assessment. However, it remains an open question whether these highlights, or explanations, are equally reliable for all surgeons.
Methods: Here, we systematically quantify the reliability of AI-based explanations on surgical videos from three hospitals across two continents by comparing them to explanations generated by humans experts. To improve the reliability of AI-based explanations, we propose the strategy of training with explanations -TWIX -which uses human explanations as supervision to explicitly teach an AI system to highlight important video frames.
Results: We show that while AI-based explanations often align with human explanations, they are not equally reliable for different sub-cohorts of surgeons (e.g., novices vs. experts), a phenomenon we refer to as an explanation bias. We also show that TWIX enhances the reliability of AI-based explanations, mitigates the explanation bias, and improves the performance of AI systems across hospitals. These findings extend to a training environment where medical students can be provided with feedback today.
Conclusions: Our study informs the impending implementation of AI-augmented surgical training and surgeon credentialing programs, and contributes to the safe and fair democratization of surgery.