Not Just Algorithms: Strategically Addressing Consumer Impacts in Information Retrieval


Michael D. Ekstrand, Lex Beattie, Maria Soledad Pera, and Henriette Cramer. 2024. Not Just Algorithms: Strategically Addressing Consumer Impacts in Information Retrieval. In Proceedings of the 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR '24, IR for Good track). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 14611:314–335. DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-56066-8_25. NSF PAR 10497110. Acceptance rate: 35.9%. Cited 4 times. Cited 2 times.

Title slide of ECIR IR4Good 2024 talk.

This is an expansion of our FAccTRec 2022 paper. You can also see my blog post summary.


Information Retrieval (IR) systems have a wide range of impacts on consumers. We offer maps to help identify goals IR systems could—or should—strive for, and guide the process of *scoping how to gauge a wide range of consumer-side impacts and the possible interventions needed to address these effects. Grounded in prior work on scoping algorithmic impact efforts, our goal is to promote and facilitate research that (1) is grounded in impacts on information consumers, contextualizing these impacts in the broader landscape of positive and negative consumer experience; (2) takes a broad view of the possible means of changing or improving that impact, including non-technical interventions; and (3) uses operationalizations and strategies that are well-matched to the technical, social, ethical, legal, and other dimensions of the specific problem in question.


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