This week we welcome Dominic DeFranco who joins us as a new PhD student.
Dom is working on the EU H2020-funded ‘Council of Coaches’ project which
aims to use theories of argumentation and dialogue structure in
particular to contribute to the automation of personalized coaching
Alison has recently secured funding from EPSRC on “Example-driven machine human collaboration in mathematics”, and work has now begun. In this project she will build on investigations into example-use in mathematics, and employ third party model generators, to design and build a system which can interface to online mathematical conversations. This will draw together theories of argumentation, automated reasoning systems, and ethnographical, cognitive and philosophical studies of how people do mathematics. The prototype system will be evaluated by running it on mathematical conversations in real-time, and seeing, by a variety of measures, whether mathematicians regard it as useful, and whether they are prepared to interact directly with it. The project (EP/P017320/1) will run from May, 2017 – October, 2018.
Many congratulations to Mathilde Janier, who today successfully defended her PhD thesis on Dialogical Dynamics and Argumentative Structures in Dispute Mediation Discourse. She was examined by Prof. Thomas Gordon from the University of Potsdam and Fraunhofer FOKUS, and by Dr. Alison Pease from Dundee.
We are delighted to welcome Brian Plüss to the ARG-tech team. Brian joins us as Postdoctoral Research Associate to take part in the Augmented Deliberative Democracy (ADD-up) project. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, between 2017 and 2020, Brian will combine argumentation mining, analyses and visualisations to augment complex public deliberations in real time, working in collaboration with researchers in linguistics and political communication from the University of Konstanz and the University of Goettingen, Germany.
Before joining ARG-tech, Brian was Research Associate at The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, working in the EPSRC-funded Election Debate Visualisation project, in collaboration with researchers in Political Communication and Design from the University of Leeds. Brian has a PhD from The Open University’s Computing and Communications Department for the thesis “A Computational Model of Non-Cooperation in Natural Language Dialogue”. In his doctoral research, he specialised in analysing and modelling non-cooperation in political interviews. Before this, he obtained a MSc in computer science at the National University of Rosario, Argentina. He has carried out research on virtual human systems at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles, California, and on software architectures and formal methods in Portugal, Argentina and Finland. From 2001 to 2004, he worked as a software engineer for ATX Software in Lisbon, Portugal.
We are delighted to welcome Debela Tesfaye to the ARG-tech team. Debela joins us from the University of Addis Ababa where he worked remotely with Michael Zock and others on meronyms, synonyms and other syntactic and semantic relations. He will be working as a PhD student on the topic of argument mining.
Martin Pereira Farina and Chris Reed are organising a workshop on explainable computational intelligence that aims to connect natural language generation, fuzzy systems and previously impenetrable AI systems that are typically seen only as black boxes.
The XCI2017 workshop will be held at INLG 2017 in Santiago de Compostela on 4 September 2017 and the deadline for submissions is 2 June 2017.
We’re delighted to welcome Prof. Randy Harris from the University of Waterloo who is co-leading one of the foremost groups in computational rhetoric, RhetFIg. Randy will be delivering a talk on Thursday, 23rd March at 10am in the lab (QMB2.15), entitled “Chiastic figures and how they argue”. All welcome as usual.
In a week of good news, funding has just been announced for two new projects in ARG-tech. €290k has been awarded to the group by the VW foundation for a collaboration with the University of Konstanz to fund the appointment of Brian Pluss under the guidance of Katarzyna Budzynska and Chris Reed to work on Augmented Deliberative Democracy (ADD-up). Alison Pease has secured a further £125k from EPSRC for a project on Example-driven machine-human collaboration in mathematics. The project aims to develop mixed-initiative mathematics in which multiple parties, both human and machine, collaborate in order to produce novel research mathematics. Both projects will start in 2017.
We are delighted to report that Rory Duthie has been awarded Best Student Paper Prize at the 6th International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA 2016) in Potsdam. Rory has just started the second year of his PhD under the supervision of Katarzyna Budzynska, and was awarded the prize for his paper, Mining Ethos in Political Debate.
In a great bit of profile-raising for the research areas of computational models of argument and argument mining, the British popular science magazine, New Scientist, has a feature on the topic in its current issue. The article includes some description of our work with IBM and with the BBC Moral Maze data. In addition, the feature is further highlighted by a leader article.