University researchers helping people to better their arguing
Researchers at Dundee University are working with the BBC to help people improve their arguing skills.
Professor Chris Reed and his colleagues from the Centre for Argument Technology (Argtech) have signed an agreement to create computer software to be piloted with BBC programming.
Prof Reed has previously worked with the broadcaster on the Radio 4 live discussion programme The Moral Maze.
The Arg-tech team worked with engineers around the world to analyse the debate on abortion on a recent episode of the show, and used that data to work out how arguments were made.
A similar exercise will be carried out during BBC Two’s Abortion On Trial show on Monday.
The same underlying data is used to support a Dundeedeveloped app called Test Your Argument, which has now gone live on the BBC Taster site, which enables users to access content from the debate and learn how to build better arguments.
Another piece of technology being developed is an app that allows people to take on the role of The Moral Maze chairman Michael Buerk to recreate their own debates using content from the BBC iplayer.
Prof Reed said: “We’re interested in models of argument, debate and disagreement and The Moral Maze is a fantastic partner for us in that regard as it is the gold-standard of debate.
“In the era of fake news and of debates increasingly happening in echo chambers of like-minded groups, it is vital that people have the skills to back up reason and facts in arguments.”