Image source: GRA 0115, William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, Newark, Delaware.
Opening Up Minds: engaging dialogue generated from argument maps
Team Paul Piwek and Jacopo Amidei, The Open University (Lead research organisation)
Svetlana Stoyanchev, Cambridge Research Laboratory, Toshiba Europe
Tom Stafford and Lotty Brand, University of Sheffield
Andreas Vlachos and Youmna Farag, University of Cambridge
Funder Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC Grant EP/T024666/1)

The project will develop a dialogue system interface to existing databases of the arguments surrounding controversial topics such as Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union? or Should all humans be vegan?

Users will be able to have a Moral Maze style chat with the dialogue system. Moral Maze is a longrunning popular BBC 4 Radio programme in which a panel discusses a controversial topic with the help of witnesses and a host who chairs the conversation. The dialogue system consists of a panel of Argumentation Bots (ArguBots) who present arguments for or against the topic under discussion (the pro and con ArguBots), a host ArguBot and a witness ArguBot (that can provide detailed evidence). The user is invited to join the panel and voice their views on the topic under discussion. Thus the user can explore what they thought and what others thought about the controversial topic.

An important part of the projects will be to evaluate the effects on people's appreciation of the complexity of debate and attendant ability to comprehend the world from other people's point of view or perspective.

Podcast and blogpost For more information about the project, listen to this interview with Paul and read Tom's blogpost.
Start January 2021
Duration 2 years
Advisory board Mevan Babakar, Chief Operating Officer, Fullfact
Richard Foster-Fletcher, MK-AI, Boundless podcast, Visiting Lecturer & Speaker on Responsible AI
David Mair, Head of Unit, Science Advice to Policy, EC Joint Research Centre
Prof. Chris Reed, Centre for Argument Technology, University of Dundee
Pip Willcox, Head of research, National Archives
Inquiries For inquiries about the project, contact .

Last updated 19 January 2021