Up close, but not too personal

Hypotargeting for recommender systems

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Hypotargeting for recommender systems (hyporec) is the idea of controlling the number of unique lists of items that a recommender system can recommend to users during a given time period. The main advantage of hyporec is oversight. If a recommender system offers only a finite number of unique lists, then it becomes feasible for a person without technological knowledge to audit the recommender system. Oversight makes it possible to spot filter bubbles or cases in which users are being bombarded with divisive content. We argue that hyporec is actually not so far from many existing recommender system ideas, and that with further research hyporec systems could be capable of making good tradeoffs between the number of unique lists, rate of list renewal (which controls coverage), and conventional evaluation metrics for user satisfaction.