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Exploring the use of intelligent chatbots in debates

GRA 0115, William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, Newark, Delaware.

A research project which will allow people to debate with artificial intelligence chatbots called Argumentation Bots or ArguBots has just received funding.

The OU is the lead research organisation for the Opening Up Minds project and has received £243,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The two-year project, which brings together an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, computational linguists, psychologists and philosophers at the OU, Cambridge, Sheffield and Toshiba Europe, will develop ArguBots for people to debate with on controversial topics such as Should the United Kingdom have remained a member of the European Union? or Should all humans be vegan?

Dr Paul Piwek, OU Senior Lecturer in Computing, said:

“The project will develop a set of Argubots which will allow people to immerse themselves in a Moral Maze style conversation around a controversial topic.

"The project will investigate the impact on people’s appreciation of the complexity of the debate and their ability to pass the Ideological Turing test, that is their ability to view and explain the world from someone else’s point of view.

"The project is rooted in a vision of technology to enhance and amplify people’s ability to engage constructively with different viewpoints on controversial and sensitive topics.”

Find out more about OU research in computing and communications

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