Anna De Liddo, KMi, Open University
Simon Buckingham Shum, KMi, Open University
Public deliberation in complex socio-technical debates is critical, but poorly supported by today’s social media platforms: it is hardly possible for citizens and community managers to quickly grasp the state of a public debate, know where they might best contribute to advance understanding, and effectively identify and pursue socially innovative ideas. In the context of this challenge, this paper describes the main characteristics of a distinctive class of argumentation tools which emerge from interdisciplinary research in Crowdsourcing and CI, Argumentation and Online Deliberation. In the paper we review key literature and present ongoing research aimed at providing lightweight IBIS-based deliberation tools for medium to large groups of untrained users to improve public deliberation and enable social innovation. We summarize preliminary result of a user study in which we gathered users feedback on usability and engagement with one of these innovative technologies for Online Deliberation called LiteMap. LiteMap is a collaborative argument mapping tool and was used to annotate and summarize an online discussion hosted by a common content management system. We report main users’ insights and challenges of using the tool and discuss key goals for the future research agenda on the design of large-scale ideation and argumentation systems specifically targeted to Public Deliberation.