The Centre for Argument Technology (www.arg.tech) is one of the world’s leading research groups in the computational application of theories of argument. As an interdisciplinary team, we focus on developing foundational theory in philosophy, linguistics and cognitive science that facilitates the development of practical AI applications. The goal is to help improve, teach, track and navigate the discussions and debates that run our governments, structure scientific research, underpin the corporate boardroom, drive legal process and frame religious beliefs.
Our research has attracted funding of over £8m, and we have over 200 refereed papers in print. Our freely available software tools such as OVA (for performing argument analysis) have tens of thousands of users, we have pioneered robust new standards such as the AIF and we have the largest freely accessible corpus of analysed argumentation anywhere in the world in AIFdb. The group also hosted the editorial office for the journal Argument and Computation from its inception in 2010 until 2016.
Our collaborations and consultancy with commercial and government organisations including IBM, DSTL and the BBC have driven our focus on end-user impact, and our public communication in print and broadcast media has reached over 30 million people. ARG-tech’s software stack provides an environment for academic tools (such as one of the most popular analysis tools for argumentation, OVA ova.arg.tech, and the only automated system for grading argument analysis, argugrader.com) as well as public-facing systems such as the Evidence Toolkit (arg.tech/evtk) which was deployed into thousands of secondary schools in partnership with the BBC. We provide open infrastructure for datasets of argument and debate (aifdb.org) based on the AIF standard for argument representation and knowledge engineering.
Most recently, we have also be working to provide an open framework for argument mining, one of the most demanding challenges in AI natural language processing today. The engineering of these tools and systems has been driven by theory coming from philosophy and linguistics but is aimed at translating basic research and delivering it robustly to large audiences. As the group continues to grow and further push the boundaries of what is possible, we are looking to appoint someone into a permanent new role to spear-head the development and advancement of our engineering work.