Algorithms Aside: Recommendation as the Lens of Life

AutorTamas Motajcsek, Jean-Yves Le Moine, Paolo Cremonesi, Kristaps Dobrajs, Frank Hopfgartner, Franca Garzotto, Ayşe Göker, Daniel Kohlsdorf, Andrew Demetriou, Martha Larson, Andreas Lommatzsch, Davide Malagoli, Ngoc Nguyen Thuy, Jasminko Novak, et al.
QuelleRecSys 2016 - 10th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, Boston, MA, USA, 15th-19th September 2016 

In this position paper, we take the experimental approach of putting algorithms aside, and reflect on what recommenders would be for people if they were not tied to technology. We look at some of the traps that current recommenders have fallen into and discuss their limitations from a human point of view. We then turn to the idea that life itself was the original recommender system. By looking at how life brings people in contact with options that suit their needs or match their preferences, we hope to shed further light on what current recommender systems could be doing better. Finally, we look at the forms that recommender systems could take in the future. By formulating our vision beyond the reach of the usual considerations, including business models, algorithms, data sets, and evaluation methodologies, we attempt to arrive at truly fresh conclusions that may inspire the next steps of the community of researchers working on RecSys.