Reducing Bias in Algorithms to Improve Demand for Your Services
Firms employ algorithms because of their perceived profit-enhancing benefits, such as increased efficiencies from the computational power in conducting a variety of marketing activities. However, if the algorithms are biased, under certain conditions their use can backfire and lead to profit-reducing outcomes, such as lower demand for services. How can firms take into consideration how biased algorithms may directly reduce firm profits? What strategies can marketers employ today to reduce the detrimental effects of algorithmic bias? In this session, Kalinda Ukanwa will discuss her research on algorithmic bias and its impact on service demand. Jerome Williams will discuss his research on marketplace bias its implications for algorithms. Together, they offer insights into how managers can employ algorithms in way that reduces detrimental effects of algorithmic bias on demand while maintaining or profits.
USC Marshall School of Business
Kalinda Ukanwa is Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern California. A quantitative modeler, Professor Ukanwa researches how algorithmic bias, algorithmic decision-making, and consumer reputations impact firms. She is the winner of the 2018 Eli Jones Promising Young Scholar Award and a finalist for the 2018 INFORMS Service Science Best Student Paper Award, 2019 Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award, and the 2020 AMS Mary Kay Doctoral Dissertation Award. In a prior life, Professor Ukanwa was an industrial engineer, financial analyst, and finance executive at Walt Disney, Citigroup, Viacom, and Kaplan.
Rutgers Business School
Professor Williams is a Distinguished Professor and Prudential Chair in Business, and Faculty Affiliate-The Center for Cognitive Science. He was also formerly the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the Rutgers-Newark Campus. He held previous Chaired positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Howard University, where he also was Director of the Center for Marketplace Diversity. He also was on the Penn State University faculty for fourteen years. He conducts research on multicultural marketing and marketplace discrimination.
Erick M. Mas is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University. He has a PhD in marketing from the University of North Texas, an MBA from Barry University, and a BA in Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Erick's research uses consumer psychology to draw strategic consumer insights centered around the influence of social class, political ideology, and emotional intelligence on marketplace behaviors. His professional background is in advertising and digital marketing.