PhD Argumentation Studies University of Windsor
“Allsembly: Software for computer support of large-group, collaborative public policy justification"
Online forums for discussion on issues of public concern have the potential to enable pervasive public involvement in democratic decision-making by facilitating communication across distance and time, but they have to be able to promote on-topic contribution and resist the influence of misinformation. The software prototype that I will present implements a system that is rule-based in a way similar to debate (and unlike informal discussions) and is also game-like. Automatically enforced rules are designed to regulate participants' contributions toward successfully meeting the goal of justifying a policy.
Participants gain points by contributing and endorsing assertions that the preponderant weight of evidence (its amount and persuasiveness) is found to support by the set end time for concluding the exercise. This promotes on-topic and significant contributions and honest assessments of confidence in assertions. The current state of justification of action proposals and of each assertion is displayed in an interactive argument diagram, so participants will always know which statements are in need of evidential support and which are well supported. Misinformation may often not be supported. When it is, the bases for its persuasiveness will be exposed and can be critically tested.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Weekly presentations conducted via Zoom. All those interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.