Michael Ekstrand

First Do No Harm

Jennifer D. Ekstrand and Michael D. Ekstrand. 2016. First Do No Harm: Considering and Minimizing Harm in Recommender Systems Designed for Engendering Health. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Recommender Systems for Health at RecSys '16.


In this paper, we consider some ways in which recommender systems designed to engender health may bring harm to their users, or others they impact, and discuss how the ethic of beneficence applies to health-related recommendations. We consider nutrition-oriented recommendation, examining some of the adverse outcomes that may arise as the recommender interacts with people in broad, real-world scenarios, and present a set of problems and proposed solutions that researchers and practitioners may consider as they seek to maximize the positive impact of health recommendation.