Ovadya discusses bridging systems at Columbia
GETTING-Plurality Workstream Lead Aviv Ovadya recently discussed his work on bridging systems as part of “Optimizing for What? Algorithmic Amplification and Society.” This two-day symposium at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute explored algorithmic amplification and distortion as well as potential interventions.
Ovadya’s research, much of which was conducted with GETTING-Plurality colleague, Luke Thorburn, who also attended the event, centers on bridging systems. Bridging systems are systems that increase mutual understanding and trust across divides. Such systems, which allow us to resolve conflict and deliberate collectively, have traditionally centered on human-moderated relationships. As human communication increasingly moves online, it is also increasingly moderated by algorithms focused solely on engagement rather than building mutual understanding. Ovadya’s presentation demonstrated the pitfalls of omitting bridging from algorithmic rankings and misconceptions related to bridging systems. It also gave participants a preview of his and Thorburton’s upcoming paper on the topic.