Reducing Bias in Algorithms to Improve Demand for Your Services

Kalinda Ukanwa

USC Marshall School of Business

Jerome D. Williams

Rutgers Business School

Erick Mas

Vanderbilt University

Sep 17, 2020

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 discussed her research on algorithmic bias and its impact on service demand. Jerome Williams discusses 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.

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