Pervasive personalisation. Two words that describe how algorithms shape our views and behaviour and determine what we see, buy, read online. There’s so much value in personalisation that tech companies are giving away algorithmic tools for free; the actual money lies in the application, in manipulating large population groups. And as this happens, much of societal biases are reinforced online.

Elisa Celis and Nisheeth Vishnoi, professors at Ềcole Polytechnique Fẽdẽrale de Lausanne, Switzerland, propose a framework to de-bias algorithms. They’ve built a prototype for ‘Balanced Search’, to demonstrate how it’s possible to mitigate extreme views and deliver diverse content using novel algorithms.


Seema Singh

Seema has over two decades of experience in journalism. Before starting The Ken, Seema wrote “Myth Breaker: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and the Story of Indian Biotech”, published by HarperCollins in May 2016. Prior to that, she was a senior editor and bureau chief for Bangalore with Forbes India, and before that she wrote for Mint. Seema has written for numerous international publications like IEEE-Spectrum, New Scientist, Cell and Newsweek. Seema is a Knight Science Journalism Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MacArthur Foundation Research Grantee.

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