Leveraging AI for Democratic Discourse: Chat Interventions Can Improve Online Political Conversations at Scale
Speaker: Christopher Bail, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Political Science and Public Policy, Duke University and Founder of the Polarization Lab
Political discourse is the soul of democracy, but misunderstanding and conflict can fester in divisive conversations. The widespread shift to online discourse exacerbates many of these problems and corrodes the capacity of diverse societies to cooperate in solving social problems. Scholars and civil society groups promote interventions that make conversations less divisive or more productive, but scaling these efforts to online discourse is challenging.
In this talk, Chris Bail will discuss conducting a large-scale experiment that demonstrates how online conversations about divisive topics can be improved with AI tools. Specifically, a large language model is employed to make real-time, evidence-based recommendations intended to improve participants’ perception of feeling understood. These interventions improve reported conversation quality, promote democratic reciprocity and improve the tone, without systematically changing the content of the conversation or moving people’s policy attitudes