AAAI Publications, 2017 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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Dice in the Black Box: User Experiences with an Inscrutable Algorithm
Aaron Springer, Victoria Hollis, Steve Whittaker

Last modified: 2017-03-20


We demonstrate that users may be prone to place an inordinate amount of trust in black box algorithms that are framed as intelligent. We deploy an algorithm that purportedly assesses the positivity and negativity of a users’ writing emotional writing. In actuality, the algorithm responds in a random fashion. We qualitatively examine the paths to trust that users followed while testing the system. In light of the ease with which users may trust systems exhibiting “intelligent behavior” we recommend corrective approaches.


User Experience; Machine Learning; Mood

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