Argument technology

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Argument technology is a sub-field of artificial intelligence. A few decades ago, philosophical theories of arguments were leveraged to handle key computational challenges, such as modeling non-monotonic reasoning and designing robust coordination protocols for multi-agent systems. This soon led to several theoretical breakthroughs, which, in turn, fostered the development of argument-based applications in a variety of domains, e.g., education, healthcare, policy making, and risk management. As a result, argument technology is a thriving interdisciplinary enterprise with its own variety of sub-fields and methodologies.[1]


Argument assistant[edit]

An argument assistant is a software which conveniences users when writing arguments. Argument assistants can convenience users as they compose content and as they review content from one other, including in dialogical contexts. In addition to Web services, such functionalities can be provided through the plugin architectures of word processor software or those of Web browsers. Internet forums, for instance, can be greatly enhanced by such software tools and services.

Argument blogging[edit]

ArguBlogging is software which allows its users to select portions of hypertext on webpages in their Web browsers and to agree or disagree with the selected content, posting their arguments to their blogs with linked argument data.[2] It is implemented as a bookmarklet, adding functionality to Web browsers and interoperating with blogging platforms such as Blogger and Tumblr.

Argument mapping[edit]

Argument maps are visual, diagrammatic representations of arguments. Such visual diagrams facilitate diagrammatic reasoning and promote one's ability to grasp and to make sense of information rapidly and readily. Argument maps can provide structured, semi-formal frameworks for representing arguments using interactive visual language.

Argument mining[edit]

Argument mining, or argumentation mining, is a research area within the natural language processing field. The goal of argument mining is the automatic extraction and identification of argumentative structures from natural language text with the aid of computer programs.

Argument search[edit]

An argument search engine is a search engine that is given a topic as a user query and returns a list of arguments for and against the topic.[3] Such engines could be used to support informed decision-making or to help debaters prepare for debates.

Artificial debater[edit]

An artificial debater is an artificial intelligence system which can debate with human users.

Automated argumentative essay scoring[edit]

The goal of automated argumentative essay scoring systems is to assist students in improving their writing skills by measuring the quality of their argumentative content.[4][5]

Decision support system[edit]

Argument technology can enhance decision support systems and intelligent decision support systems.

Ethical decision support system[edit]

An ethical decision support system is a decision support system which supports users in moral reasoning and decision-making.[6][7]

Legal decision support system[edit]

A legal decision support system is a decision support system which supports users in legal reasoning and decision-making.

Explainable artificial intelligence[edit]

An explainable or transparent artificial intelligence system is an artificial intelligence system whose actions can be easily understood by humans.

Intelligent tutoring system[edit]

An intelligent tutoring system is a computer system that aims to provide immediate and customized instruction or feedback to learners, usually without requiring intervention from a human teacher. The intersection of argument technology and intelligent tutoring systems includes computer systems which aim to provide instruction in: critical thinking, argumentation,[8] ethics,[9] law,[10] mathematics,[11] and philosophy.

Legal expert system[edit]

A legal expert system is a domain-specific expert system that uses artificial intelligence to emulate the decision-making abilities of a human expert in the field of law.

Machine ethics[edit]

Machine ethics is a part of the ethics of artificial intelligence concerned with the moral behavior of artificially intelligent beings. As humans argue with respect to morality and moral behavior, argument can be envisioned as a component of machine ethics systems and moral reasoning components.

Proof assistant[edit]

In computer science and mathematical logic, a proof assistant or interactive theorem prover is a software tool to assist with the development of formal proofs by human-machine collaboration. This involves some sort of interactive proof editor, or other interface, with which a human can guide the search for proofs, the details of which are stored in, and some steps provided by, a computer.


  1. ^ Bex, Floris J., Floriana Grasso, Nancy Green, Fabio Paglieri, and Chris Reed. Argument Technologies: Theory, Analysis, and Applications. London: College Publications, 2017.
  2. ^ Bex, Floris, Mark Snaith, John Lawrence, and Chris Reed. "Argublogging: An application for the argument web." Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web 25 (2014): 9-15.
  3. ^ Aharoni, Ehud; et al. (2014). "Claims on demand–an initial demonstration of a system for automatic detection and polarity identification of context dependent claims in massive corpora". Proceedings of COLING 2014.
  4. ^ Stab, Christian; Gurevych, Iryna (2014). "Identifying argumentative discourse structures in persuasive essays". Proceedings of EMNLP 2014.
  5. ^ Green, Nancy L. "Towards automated analysis of student arguments." In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, pp. 591-594. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013.
  6. ^ Mancherjee, Kevin, and Angela C. Sodan. "Can computer tools support ethical decision making?." ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 34, no. 2 (2004): 1.
  7. ^ Mathieson, Kieran. "Towards a design science of ethical decision support." Journal of Business Ethics 76, no. 3 (2007): 269-292.
  8. ^ Loll, Frank, Niels Pinkwart, Oliver Scheuer, and Bruce M. McLaren. "Towards a flexible intelligent tutoring system for argumentation." In Advanced Learning Technologies, 2009. ICALT 2009. Ninth IEEE International Conference on, pp. 647-648. IEEE, 2009.
  9. ^ Goldin, Ilya M., Kevin D. Ashley, and Rosa L. Pinkus. "Introducing PETE: computer support for teaching ethics." In Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Artificial intelligence and law, pp. 94-98. ACM, 2001.
  10. ^ Ashley, Kevin D., and Vincent Aleven. "Toward an intelligent tutoring system for teaching law students to argue with cases." In Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Artificial intelligence and law, pp. 42-52. ACM, 1991.
  11. ^ Ritter, Steven, John R. Anderson, Kenneth R. Koedinger, and Albert Corbett. "Cognitive Tutor: Applied research in mathematics education." Psychonomic bulletin & review 14, no. 2 (2007): 249-255.