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Automatic Classification of Human Values: Applying Computational Thinking to Information Ethics

Kenneth R. Fleischmann, Douglas W. Oard, An-Shou Cheng, Ping Wang and Emi Ishita

(Submission #45)


This paper describes an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in information ethics and information retrieval who seek to automate the process of detecting and classifying values expressed in human communication. This effort is an example of computational thinking (Wing, 2006) in practice, as it involves applying computational techniques to the field of ethics, which has previously been thought of as a purely humanistic endeavor. As this paper explains, automatic classification has potential benefits relative to the surveys and manual content analysis that have previously been used to study human values, with significant promise to revolutionize both information ethics and artificial intelligence.

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