openAIED SIG – Presentation by Anna De Liddo

13 people attended the openAIED Special Interest Group on Tuesday 23 June 2020 for a presentation by Anna De Liddo.

A recording is available for OU staff and can be viewed here:

Title: Contested Collective Intelligence: New technologies for healthier discussion and collective decisions in uncertain and dividing domains

Abstract: At its most ambitious, research into Collective Intelligence (CI) seeks to develop the conceptual foundations and sociotechnical infrastructures to increase our ability to resolve complex problems by combining individual contributions of large numbers of globally distributed experts and stakeholders. The importance of this research is paramount, as humanity now finds itself constantly and increasingly faced with a range of highly complex problems – such as climate change, the crisis of democracies, the spread of disease, international security, scientific collaborations, product development, and so on.

In this context, our research looks at how collective intelligence can emerge by enabling better collective dialogue, debate and deliberation. We seek to understand the forms of CI that can be constructed through discourse and action, which enables advanced forms of collective sensemaking such as idea generation and prioritization, argumentation and deliberation.

In this talk we focus on the application of such discourse oriented CI forms, methods and tools in social innovation contexts, and describe research advancements and open questions from the research carried out by the IDea team (

We also describe recent developments from the Catalyst project and the Election Debates Visualisation projects and discuss how discourse centric CI paradigms can change the way we experience and engage with public debate.

Finally, we discuss two main future research avenues for discourse centric Collective Intelligence research: i. enabling ideation and deliberation at unprecedented scales; and ii. devising new forms of human-machine conversational intelligence.

We suggest that, as the power and ubiquity of data driven and AI technologies grows, new forms of conversational intelligence, which allows many (human – machine) voices to contribute to structured, effective, unbiased conversations, and advanced Analytics interfaces to enhance human judgement, will become fundamental to the development of explainable, accountable and intelligent group decisions that people can trust.

Bio: Dr Anna De Liddo is a Senior Research Fellow in Collective Intelligence Infrastructures and leads the Knowledge Media Institute’s IDea Group ( which investigates theories methods and tools accounting for the centrality of social interaction and discourse in public engagement, urban informatics, e-democracy and social innovation contexts. Anna’s research focuses on models of dialogue and argumentation; models of crowdsourcing and participatory representation; and the design, implementation and uptake of online systems that seek to increase collective environmental awareness, and collective capacity to make sense of complex issues, such as social justice and environmental sustainability. In the past 10 years Anna has lead the design and development of 7 different Collective Intelligence technologies (Cohere, The Evidence Hub, LiteMap, DebateHub, CIdashboard, Democratic Reflection and Democratic replay), she has given several international invited talks and chaired 8 international workshops on Collective Intelligence and Online Deliberation, hosted at prominent HCI conference venues such as CSCW (2010-2012), CHI2015 and C&T (2013, 2015). Most recently Anna launched the Collective Intelligence for The Common Good Open Research and Action Community Network ( This places her at the core of research on new Web technologies for Citizen Engagement in Public Deliberation and Collective Intelligence Platforms for Social Innovation. In this context, Anna was PI of the FP7 project CATALYST on Collective Applied Intelligence and Analytics for Social Innovation, which specifically tackles issues of large scale communities’ involvement in social innovation initiatives. Anna is also PI of the EDV project (Elections Debate Visualisations), an EPSRC funded project which aims to produce advanced video replays of the televised UK election debates and provide new ways to harness audience feedback to political debates, at scale and through ubiquitous and interactive technologies ( Most recently, in 2019, Anna was awarded a prestigious individual fellowship from the Global Office of Naval Research (ONR Global) to research and devise the next generation of technological solutions for discussion-enhanced collective decision-making ( ONR is one of the oldest research institutions in the US, that has historically funded more that 20 Nobel Prizes, and is specifically targeted to identify and fund cutting-edge science and technology research outside the US.

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