Tallinn University of Technology

In this talk Professor Anna De Liddo will give a short overview of research in Collective Intelligence and present one of their latest developed Contested Collective Intelligence (CCI) tool: bcause.app.

Date: Thursday, 26 May, 11:00-12:30.

Venue: Room ICT-A1, Taltech ICT Building, Akadeemia tee 15a, Tallinn and hybrid: MS Teams Link

There are no simple solutions to complex societal challenges. Whether it's climate change or addressing the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the questions these issues pose to humanity do not have a single correct answer. Tackling them requires collaboration from governments, charities, companies and individuals. Nevertheless, at a time when society seems dominated by dogma and discord, building consensus about what action to take can feel like the greatest hurdle to overcome.

We can't overlook the internet's role in fanning the flames of division. Fake news and social media bubbles filter our reality and have the power to entrench us on one side of the argument and prevent us from understanding others' views. However, our research in Collective Intelligence also finds that technology can be a powerful tool to help us find common ground, even in cases when it appears we couldn't be farther apart.  

For over a decade I have been making a case for a new type of technology-enabled collective intelligence to help people make sense of and co-create innovative solutions to complicated challenges..

The online Contested Collective Intelligence (CCI) tools we have built harness the power of technology to enable people worldwide to build shared understandings – even when, on the face of it, they disagree. By combining advanced computational methods, such as Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, with intuitive Multimedia Interactions, these easy-to-use tools harness and structure online conversations, to identify both stated and unstated points of agreement.


Anna De Liddo is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Director of Research of the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University (UK).

Her research focuses on the study of Collective Intelligence facilitated through new forms of Dialogue and Deliberation. She leads the Intelligent Deliberation Group (IDea: http://idea.kmi.open.ac.uk/) 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, 2017).

In 2014 Anna launched the Collective Intelligence for The Common Good Open Research and Action Community Network (ci4cg.org). 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 was also Co-I 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 (democraticreflection.org).

Most recently, in 2019, Anna was awarded a prestigious individual grant 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 (bcause.app). ONR is one of the oldest research institutions in the US, and ONR Global is the ONR division specifically targeted to identify and fund cutting-edge science and technology research outside the US.