Elizabeth F. Churchill

Five E’s: Reflecting on the Design of Recommendations

by Elizabeth F. Churchill (Google, USA)

Many case studies illustrate unintended consequences of well-intentioned systems. We have seen problems caused by information “filter bubbles”; problems caused by inappropriate, discriminatory or outright dangerous recommendations; issues of poor data quality leading to erroneous conclusions; and lack of clear methods, techniques, and tools for understanding how systems work and how to undo or reverse problems that have been caused.
These events, case studies, and stories have led to calls for what I call the three E’s of accountability in application, product, system, and service offerings–that they be more Explainable, Equitable, and Ethical. I’d like to raise two more critical E’s in socio-technical system design and development processes: Expedience and Exigence. It is critical that we address these two if we are going to realize the call for the first three E’s.
In this talk, I will reflect on the nature of recommendation through the lens of these 5 E’s to kick-start a conversation about recommendation ‘design’. I will draw on the psychology of human information processing, reasoning, and decision making, and will share observations, anecdotes, and cautionary tales to motivate some directions forward for recommendation and recommender design. I will then invite us to discuss: What, concretely, can researchers, developers, and designers do to address the 5 E’s?

About the Speaker

Elizabeth Churchill is a Director of User Experience at Google. Her field of study is Human Computer Interaction and User Experience, with a current focus on the design of effective designer and developer tools.
Elizabeth has built research groups and led research in a number of well known companies, including as Director of Human Computer Interaction at eBay Research Labs in San Jose, CA, as a Principal Research Scientist and Research Manager at Yahoo! in Santa Clara, CA and as a Senior Scientist at PARC and before that at FXPAL, Fuji Xerox’s Research lab in Silicon Valley.
Working across a number of research areas, she has published research, patented prototypes, and taught courses at a number of universities. She has more than 50 patents granted or pending, 7 academic books, and over 100 publications in theoretical and applied psychology, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, mobile and ubiquitous computing, computer mediated communication and social media. In 2016, she received the Citris-Banatao Institute Athena Award for Executive Leadership.
The current Secretary/Treasurer and incoming Vice President of the ACM, Churchill served as on the Executive Committee of the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), for 8 years, 6 years of those as Executive Vice President and 2 as Vice President for Chapters. She has also held leadership committee positions on a number of ACM SIGCHI associated conferences. Elizabeth is a Distinguished Scientist and Distinguished Speaker of the ACM, and a member of the SIGCHI Academy.

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