What if I Don’t Like any of the Choices? The Limits of Preference Elicitation for Participatory Algorithm Design

Emerging methods for participatory algorithm design have proposed collecting and aggregating individual stakeholder preferences to create algorithmic systems that account for those stakeholders' values. Using algorithmic student assignment as a case study, this paper makes the case that methods of participation which are based on individual preferences may actually inhibit progress towards social and distributive justice. Individual preferences can be a useful signal but should be expanded to support more expressive and inclusive forms of democratic participation.

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