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CHI Data-Driven Personas Persona Research Personas

The Ethics of Data-Driven Personas

Quantitative data and algorithms are becoming more common for persona creation, but it is not clear to which extent this data and opaque machine learning algorithms introduce bias at various steps of data-driven persona creation (DDPC) and/or violate user rights.

The Ethics of Data-Driven Personas
The Ethics of Data-Driven Personas

In this conceptual work, led by Joni Salminen, we use Gillespie’s framework of algorithmic ethics to analyze DDPC for ethical considerations.

We formulate five design questions for evaluating the ethics of DDPC. Data-driven personas should demonstrate the diversity of the user base, be transparent in their creation, minimize the possibility of unfair decisions, and represent the actual data.

Results also may be applicable to personas derived via other means.

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Salminen, J., Froneman, W., Jung, S.G., Chowdhury. S., and Jansen, B. J.(2020) The Ethics of Data-Driven Personas. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20) (Extended Abstract), Honolulu, HI, USA. 25–30 April, 1-9.

By Jim Jansen

Dr. Jansen is a Principal Scientist in the social computing group of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, and a professor with the College of Science and Engineering, Hamad bin Khalifa University, and an adjunct professor with the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of West Point and has a Ph.D. in computer science from Texas A&M University, along with master degrees from Texas A&M (computer science) and Troy State (international relations). Dr. Jim Jansen served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry enlisted soldier and communication commissioned officer.