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Congratulations to RegNet Director Kate Henne, whose paper Sociotechnical Harms of Algorithmic Systems: Scoping a Taxonomy for Harm Reduction has received the Honourable Mention for Best Paper at the Sixth AAAI/ACM Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society.
RegNet Visiting Fellow, Renee Shelby is the lead author of the paper alongside co-authors Shalaleh Rismani (McGill), AJung Moon (McGill), Negar Rostamzadeh (Google Research), Paul Nicholas (Google), N’Mah Yilla (Google), Jess Gallegos (Google Research), Andrew Smart (Google Research), Emilio Garcia (Google) and Gurleen Virk (Google Research).
Understanding the landscape of potential harms from algorithmic systems enables practitioners to better anticipate consequences of the systems they build. It also supports the prospect of incorporating controls to help minimize harms that emerge from the interplay of technologies and social and cultural dynamics. A growing body of scholarship has identified a wide range of harms across different algorithmic technologies. However, computing research and practitioners lack a high level and synthesized overview of harms from algorithmic systems. Based on a scoping review of computing research (n=172), we present an applied taxonomy of sociotechnical harms to support a more systematic surfacing of potential harms in algorithmic systems. The final taxonomy builds on and refers to existing taxonomies, classifications, and terminologies. Five major themes related to sociotechnical harms — representational, allocative, quality-of-service, interpersonal harms, and social system/societal harms — and sub-themes are presented along with a description of these categories. We conclude with a discussion of challenges and opportunities for future research.
View the pre-print version here.