I gave this talk, “You Might Also Think This Is Unfair: Operationalizing Fairness and Respect in Information Systems”, on March 24, 2022 for the University of Michigan School of Information.
Every day, information access systems mediate our experience of the world beyond our immediate senses. Google and Bing help us find what we seek, Amazon and Netflix recommend things for us to buy and watch, Apple News gives us the day’s events, and LinkedIn helps us find new jobs. These systems deliver immense value, but also have profound influence on how we experience information and the resources and perspectives we see. The influence and impacts of these systems raise a number of questions: how are the costs and benefits of search, recommendation, and other information access systems distributed? Is that distribution equitable, or does it benefit a few at the expense of many? Are they designed with respect for their users, producers, and other affected people?
In this talk, I will discuss how to locate specific questions about the equity of an information access system in a landscape of harms, present some of my own group’s work on quantifying and measuring systematic biases, and look to a future of engaged, human-centered research and development on information access systems grounded in the dignity and well-being of everyone they affect.
These papers provide more details on the research I presented. Many of them have accompanying code to reproduce the experiments and results.