Situating Search

Chirag Shah, Emily M. Bender
2022 ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval  
Search systems, like many other applications of machine learning, have become increasingly complex and opaque. The notions of relevance, usefulness, and trustworthiness with respect to information were already overloaded and often difficult to articulate, study, or implement. Newly surfaced proposals that aim to use large language models to generate relevant information for a user's needs pose even greater threat to transparency, provenance, and user interactions in a search system. In this
more » ... pective paper we revisit the problem of search in the larger context of information seeking and argue that removing or reducing interactions in an effort to retrieve presumably more relevant information can be detrimental to many fundamental aspects of search, including information verification, information literacy, and serendipity. In addition to providing suggestions for counteracting some of the potential problems posed by such models, we present a vision for search systems that are intelligent and effective, while also providing greater transparency and accountability. CCS CONCEPTS • Information systems → Users and interactive retrieval; Language models.
doi:10.1145/3498366.3505816 fatcat:v7xrehl2djd3nbuyfxkrlzssg4