The Science of Arguing

Published on 19 April 2019

Don’t pick an argument with the University of Dundee – we have our own Centre for Argument Technology (ARG-tech)

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Led by Professor Chris Reed, ARG-tech uses a combination of philosophy, linguistics and computer science to explore why people disagree and how they express their disagreements.

For ten years, ARG-tech has been working closely with BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze to develop argument technology applications which have been used to great effect on the show, offering insight into debate by providing real time analysis of discussions around highly emotive subjects. "The results showed that these applications are helping people to think differently and more deeply about tough moral issues," said Professor Reed.

"We’re also collaborating with IBM to automatically identify arguments and working with governments across Europe to enhance participatory democracy. Our techniques depend upon Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms from foundational rule based systems through to cutting edge deep learning for tasks including sentiment analysis, opinion mining and the newest challenge: argument mining"

"However, we’re not teaching computers how to beat us in argument. The role of AI is in contributing to human reasoning and decision making, improving arguments and encouraging critical thinking.”

“Enhancing and contributing to human reasoning and human debate is an exciting new frontier in Artificial Intelligence”

Professor Chris Reed


Press Office, University of Dundee

Story category Research