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OLnet@PARC: Contested Collective Intelligence

OLnet's Simon Buckingham Shum & Anna De Liddo gave a seminar at the Palo Alto Research Institute (PARC), renowned for its ground-breaking computing R&D in many fields, including Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext and Sensemaking.

Their seminar at the Intelligent Systems Lab, hosted by Maarten Sierhuis (Knowledge, Language & Interaction Area Manager) and Gregorio Convertino (Augmented Social Cognition Area) was entitled Contested Collective Intelligence: Resilience, Complexity & Sensemaking (abstract below). Their talk included their joint work with OLnet Fellow Ágnes Sándor, and the OLnet Open Education Evidence Hub, which they had just demo'd and discussed with delegates at the Hewlett Foundation Grantees Meeting.

ABSTRACT: To thrive, organizational entities (learning communities; teams of analysts; formal companies) must make sense of a complex, changing environment. Our interest is in how sociotechnical "collective intelligence" infrastructures may augment this capacity. We are seeking conceptual lenses that illuminate this challenge, and draw ideas from resilience thinking, sensemaking, and complexity science. We propose that these motivate the concept of Contested Collective Intelligence (CCI), and give examples of how the Cohere platform is being designed in response to these requirements. This is a social/semantic web annotation and knowledge mapping environment, with tools for monitoring networks of ideas and generating novel analytics. We also report experimental integration with the Xerox Incremental Parser, in order to evaluate human+machine annotation of knowledge-level claims expressed through rhetorical moves in documents.

BIOS: Simon Buckingham Shum is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Director (Technology) at the UK Open University's Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), where he leads the Hypermedia Discourse Group. Following a PhD at U. York in HCI/Hypertext/Design Rationale (sponsored by Xerox EuroPARC) he has developed a human-centered computing perspective to the challenge of computer-supported sensemaking, reflected in the books Visualizing Argumentation and Knowledge Cartography. He co-founded the Compendium Institute and

Anna De Liddo is a Research Associate in KMi, where she works with Simon on the Open Learning Network project (, focusing on the design and development of a Collective Intelligence infrastructure for the Open Education Resources movement. She gained her PhD at Polytechnic of Bari, investigating ICT for Participatory Planning and Deliberation, after which she held a postdoctoral position in KMi evaluating human-centred argument mapping for Climate Change.

More detailed presentations of some of the ideas summarised in this talk are in the following:

De Liddo, A.; Buckingham Shum, S.; Quinto, I.; Bachler, M. and Cannavacciuolo, L. (2011). Discourse-centric learning analytics. In: LAK 2011: 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, 27 Feb - 01 Mar 2011, Banff, Alberta. Eprint:

De Liddo, A. and Buckingham Shum, S. (2010). Cohere: A prototype for contested collective intelligence. In: ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2010) - Workshop: Collective Intelligence In Organizations - Toward a Research Agenda, February 6-10, 2010, Savannah, Georgia, USA. Eprint:

Buckingham Shum, S. and De Liddo, A. (2010). Collective intelligence for OER sustainability. In: OpenEd2010: Seventh Annual Open Education Conference, 2-4 Nov 2010, Barcelona, Spain. Eprint:

Simon Buckingham Shum, Ágnes Sándor, Anna De Liddo & Michelle Bachler: Integrating Human & Machine Document Annotation for Sensemaking. Seminar, 11th November 2010, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK.