Annette Hautli-Janisz is research associate at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Konstanz. Her project “Augmented Deliberative Democracy (ADD-up): Computational Enhancement of Large-scale Public Arbitrations in Real Time” will be funded by the VW Foundation starting April 2017 for the duration of 36 months.
The project is both international and interdisciplinary, taking into account that her co-applicants Valentin Gold (University of Göttingen, Germany) and Brian Plüss (University of Dundee, Scotland) come from the field of political science and computer science, respectively.
Nowadays, there is an increasing tendency to initiate large-scale public arbitrations in order to reach consensus between policy makers and civil society. The funded project’s aim is to automatically monitor and enhance these large-scale participatory processes. The project group will develop a system that runs in parallel to a debate, taking as input a live stenographic feed and processing it utterance by utterance based on a statistical model of deliberative communication. It then provides participants with an augmented view of the ongoing debate via large analytical displays. Analysis includes for example the stance of individual participants to the points raised in the debate. The innovation which comes with the ADD-up system has the potential to digitally transform participatory processes.
We are happy that Annette made the best use of the Zukunftskolleg support measures. In 2015, she secured an Independent Research Grant which she used for financing a research visit in Scotland. There she met, among others, Chris Reed, Professor of Computer Science and Philosophy at the University of Dundee, and Katarzyna Budzynska, a fellow in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee. The highly productive research visit paved the way for a more formal collaboration, and they planned to apply for the new call of the VW Foundation in “Computational Social Science”. Both further agreed to be mentors for Annette’s postdoctoral project on argumentation mining. Therefore, Annette applied for the Mentorship Programme at the Zukunftskolleg in 2016, during which her mentors helped shaping the application for the VW Foundation grant.
More information on the project “Augmented Deliberative Democracy (ADD-up): Computational Enhancement of Large-scale Public Arbitrations in Real Time” can be found here.