Project BioD

The ‘Deliberatorium’

Project Noa

Project Noah: The beginnings of collectively intelligent surveying.

Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Dr. Mark Klein, creator of the ‘MIT Deliberatorium’ described it in a working paper titled “How to Harvest Collective Wisdom on Complex Problems: An Introduction to the MIT Deliberatorium” as follows: “… technology designed to help large numbers of people … combine their insights to find well-founded solutions for such complex multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary (“wicked”) problems as sustainability, climate change policy, complex product design, and so on.”

Specifically, Deliberatorium is designed to address this challenge: How to effectively capture the collective wisdom of high number of users of social media tools and “…harvest this wisdom from the large and messy corpuses that result from using these tools.”

Deliberatorium’s solution?

Large-Scale Argumentation. Members of a community make their contributions in the form of a deliberation map, a tree-structured network of posts each representing a single unique issue (question to be answered), idea (possible answer for a question), or argument (pro or con for an idea or other argument).
This is an excellent idea enabling focus on the final solution(s) apart from reducing redundancy.

However, for a country like Bangladesh – threatened with large scale environmental disasters (for example, climate change) – limited or non-existent internet connectivity, lack of phones with native language keypads and limited literacy matched with high cost of participation via mobile devices does not provide the citizenry any opportunity to participate in solving their problems.

BioD has been looking at a Deliberatorium that is possibly voice based, integrated into the mobile carrier system so as to do away with the need for internet connectivity, and yet provide the benefits that the idea of large scale argumentation does.

You can read the working paper here:

Online Biodiversity Games and Education