Dare to Know

The Scientific revolution and Enlightenment had told us that taking an inclusive and transparent approach will facilitate better solutions to difficult problems. Our current political situation clearly calls for better and deeper discussions, which will be more rational and evidence-based. We desperately need to re-teach the younger generation how to properly converse with one another. The ability to accumulate a diverse set of views from peers and improve each student’s analytical skills is of utmost importance.

How to be inclusive with dozens of students?

The problem is that being inclusive with a team of over a few dozen students proves to be almost impossible. Collecting the views of even 30 peers, including their comments on each other’s views, will result in a very long thread of emails or an extremely long and drawn-out discussion. Thus, instructors find themselves compromising, and the old-school discussion boards are not in use anymore. 

How about a 10,000 conversants multilogue?

Here at Ment.io, we had an occasion on which we heard a former head analyst in the US government tell us that he had over ten thousand people working for him, and always felt while preparing for a briefing at the White House that he had to somehow combine in his own mind all the differing views he have heard from his senior management. Clearly he had no way to directly approach all his analysts, especially the juniors who often are closer to the raw materials. Computers did nothing until now to help such high level executives process the differing views and arguments they get from their highly talented subordinates. This is partly due to the technological limitations of Natural Language Processing (NLP), and partly due to the design of existing communication platforms over the internet which did not put as their first priority inclusion and trustworthiness.

Dare to Know

“Dare to Know” was the rallying cry of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The philosopher Immanuel Kant used it in its Latin version “Sapere Aude” to describe Humanity’s greatest challenge – Individuals who dare to think for themselves, and refuse to accept whatever is being told to them by Clergymen and Political leaders.

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How AI can help

Today we have to rally instructors and students to adopt “Dare to Know” as their educational motto. We at Ment.io believe computers can serve to improve collaborative human discussions. AI can facilitate an inclusive yet swift evidence-based discussion. Collecting a diverse set of opinions and processing it into a clever summary that represents the “collective mind” allows a very efficient and reliable way to rational debates. Adding a layer of human feedback when closing the discussion will serve to gradually improve the machine ability to process the “collective mind” view by changing the weight assigned to each of the individuals and groups participating in the process. Ment.io builds a cognitive matrix of each of the participants and employs a personalised recommendation engine to improve each student’s analytical skills. We built a well-structured conversation that allows us to look into patterns of arguments, counter arguments and evidence to decide the believability score of each alternative answer to a question, and to decide the “thought distance” between different participants.

Daring to know in our era is signified by being bold enough to give up the shallow way in which we got used to running our discussions. Running synchronous zoom calls and endless email threads without the use of algorithms to analyse the differing views and matching them to existing data is just being negligent about our responsibilities as educators and students.

Dare to Know, try Ment.io.


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