AutoML in The Wild: Obstacles, Workarounds, and Expectations

Yuan Sun, Qiurong Song, Xinning Gui, Fenglong Ma, Ting Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Automated machine learning (AutoML) is envisioned to make ML techniques accessible to ordinary users. Recent work has investigated the role of humans in enhancing AutoML functionality throughout a standard ML workflow. However, it is also critical to understand how users adopt existing AutoML solutions in complex, real-world settings from a holistic perspective. To fill this gap, this study conducted semi-structured interviews of AutoML users (N = 19) focusing on understanding (1) the limitations of AutoML encountered by users in their real-world practices, (2) the strategies users adopt to cope with such limitations, and (3) how the limitations and workarounds impact their use of AutoML. Our findings reveal that users actively exercise user agency to overcome three major challenges arising from customizability, transparency, and privacy. Furthermore, users make cautious decisions about whether and how to apply AutoML on a case-by-case basis. Finally, we derive design implications for developing future AutoML solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Apr 23 2023Apr 28 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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