Alum Stuart Geiger Published in ACM Proceedings

23 Oct, 2017

Alum Stuart Geiger Published in ACM Proceedings

Stuart Geiger is an ethnographer and post-doctoral scholar at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC Berkeley. A recent work titled "Operationalizing Conflict and Cooperation between Automated Software Agents in Wikipedia: A Replication and Expansion of 'Even Good Bots Fight'" was published in ACM Proceedings! This work was co-authored by Aaron Halfaker from the Wikimedia Foundation.

Geiger and Halfkaer explain in the abstract: "This paper replicates, extends, and refutes conclusions made in a study published in PLoS ONE (“Even Good Bots Fight”), which claimed to identify substantial levels of conflict between automated software agents (or bots) in Wikipedia using purely quantitative methods. By applying an integrative mixed-methods approach drawing on trace ethnography, we place these alleged cases of bot-bot conflict into context and arrive at a better understanding of these interactions.

"We found that overwhelmingly, the interactions previously characterized as problematic instances of conflict are typically better characterized as routine, productive, even collaborative work. These results challenge past work and show the importance of qualitative/quantitative collaboration. In our paper, we present quantitative metrics and qualitative heuristics for operationalizing bot-bot conflict...By interpreting found/trace data in the socio-technical contexts in which people give that data meaning, we gain more from quantitative measurements, drawing deeper understandings about the governance of algorithmic systems in Wikipedia."

The article focuses on human-centered computing, algorithms, trace ethnography, and mixed methods.

Read their full work here.