Universidade Lusófona Universidade Lusófona do Porto
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Acronym

DEBAQI

Project Reference

DSAIPA/DS/0102/2019

Start / End

06/01/2020 - 05/01/2023

Funding (Total)

221 794,72€

Funding Programme

FCT

Leading Parner

Manuel Pita - Lusófona University

CICANT, Universidade Lusófona

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

University College London (UCL)

Ministério de Educação de Portugal

DEBAQI - Factors for promoting dialogue and healthy behaviours in online school communities

The growing online information ecosystem creates unprecedented opportunities for the democratisation of knowledge. For example, through participation in online conversations, we can discover and evaluate possible facts, as well as our beliefs, in the light of arguments and evidence. The opposite phenomenon also exists, and is currently prevalent. Certain human and sociocultural vulnerabilities have created the context for the emergence of what we know as the post-truth era, in which many people choose to believe false ideas, even when presented with evidence. This has amplified collective phenomena such as hate speech, dissemination of fake news and discrimination. These phenomena influence decision-making, both at the individual and collective level. One of the first places where we should study the formation of these dynamics of social conversation is in school. One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is to substantially improve education for quality, inclusion, equality and lifelong learning. The Debaqi project aims to use data obtained from social conversations at school to identify the (potentially) causal factors that determine their health and quality. These factors can then be used to design educational interventions. The aim of these interventions is for young people to be able to evaluate the dialogues in which they participate on their own, to increase appreciation of argumentation as an important part of a healthy dialogue, as well as of inclusion and plurality through giving space to different ideas, thus avoiding the current tendency towards polarisation. Debaqi is based on the use of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence techniques, as well as rigorous consideration of aspects related to privacy, data protection and ethical aspects, both in the design of analytical algorithms and in the recommendations of factors to be considered in educational interventions.

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