Brainstorming: The implications of categorization on social life by Balazs Kovacs
TimeFriday, October 25, 2019 - 3:00pm through 4:00pm
ISPS A001 See map
77 Prospect StNew Haven
Title: The implications of categorization on social life (and what can we do about them)
Speaker: Balazs Kovacs, School of Management, Yale University
Categories are omnipresent on the Internet, websites are being designed partly to satisfy humans’ need for categorization, and much of machine learning and AI is aimed at classifying things (for example, “Is this a picture of a cat or a tiger?”).
The goal of this meeting is to discuss issues related to categorization on the Internet and AI.
A few issues we may discuss:
- The effects of categorization are especially hard on people/objects that do not fit perfectly distinct categories. Think of interdisciplinary scholars, gender non-conforming individuals, or organizations that span multiple industries. Categories will make it harder for these individuals/objects to be noticed and reach their full potential. What can we do about this?
- This is highly applicable for example in the case of recommendation websites that are organized in categories, e.g., Yelp sort restaurants by cuisines. Such categorization will hurt category-spanning restaurants such as Indian-Pizza. What would be the optimal way to organize and present information on websites?
- Categorization often leads to polarization. What could we do about this?
- Ratings are often dichotomized into discrete categories (upvote vs downvote, friends vs not friends). What are the effects of alternative systems of categorization systems (binary, graded, 5 stars), and where are they most needed?
- Issues around categorization and fairness.