Ranking Content On Signals Other Than User Engagement | TechPolicy.Press

Today’s guests are Jonathan Stray, a senior scientist at the Center for Human Compatible AI at the University of California Berkeley, and Ravi Iyer, managing director of the Neely Center at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School. Both are keenly interested in what happens when platforms optimize for variables other than engagement, and whether they can in fact optimize for prosocial outcomes.

With several coauthors, they recently published a paper based in large part on discussion at an 8-hour working group session featuring representatives from seven major content-ranking platforms and former employees of another major platform, as well as university and independent researchers. The authors say “there is much unrealized potential in using non-engagement signals. These signals can improve outcomes both for platforms and for society as a whole.”

A transcript is forthcoming.

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