It seems like every day there is a new gig work platform (e.g. UpWork, Uber, Airbnb, or Rover) that uses a 5-star scale to rate workers. This helps workers build reputation and develop the trust necessary for gig work interactions, but there is a big concern: lots of prior work finds that race and gender biases occur when people evaluate each other. In an upcoming paper at the 2018 ACM CSCW conference, we describe what we thought would be a straightforward study of race and gender biases in 5-star reputation systems. However, it turned into an exercise in repeated experimentation to verify surprising results and careful statistical analysis to better understand our findings. Ultimately, we ended up with a future research agenda composed of compelling new hypotheses about race, gender and five-star rating scales. (more…)
Monthly Archives: October 2018
As people flock to services like Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit, the sharing economy has become a prominent research topic in Computer Science, especially in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). As shown in the figure below, research on the sharing economy has almost doubled year by year, and seemed to start declining after 2015. Our study reviews the existing computing literature in this space and suggests where future efforts can go. [Link] (more…)
Couchsurfing and Airbnb are websites that connect people with an extra guest room or couch with random strangers on the Internet who are looking for a place to stay. Although Couchsurfing predates Airbnb by about five years, the two sites are designed to help people do the same basic thing and they work in extremely similar ways. They differ, however, in one crucial respect. On Couchsurfing, the exchange of money in return for hosting is explicitly banned. In other words, couchsurfing only supports the social exchange of hospitality. On Airbnb, users must use money: the website is a market on which people can buy and sell hospitality. (more…)
Over 300,000 Americans have died from drug overdose in the last two decades, and that many will die from drug overdose over the next five years. Due to this dramatic increase in overdose deaths, the need for effective treatment is great. However, substance use disorders (SUDs), such as alcoholism and drug abuse, have been historically difficult to treat given their chronic cycles of treatment and relapse. As many as 75% of the individuals who complete professional treatment will relapse within one year. To improve treatment outcomes, new and supplemental approaches are needed. In our recent study, we explored if and how technology (e.g., smartphone apps) might supplement traditional treatment options and serve as an additional source of support for individuals in early recovery from SUDs.