Project description

This project will investigate how technology-supported, large-scale crowd computing approaches can be used to strengthen the functions of democratic consultation and popular initiative procedures—arguably the most impactful participatory mechanisms of direct democracy, as they allow the population to not only strongly influence the outcome of the political process but also to set the agenda (in popular initiatives). Hence, this project will build novel hybrid human-machine systems that cultivate, coordinate, and support participants using coordination technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to support these functions in real world democratic settings.

Given that these goals need to combine and advance our understanding regarding the political process, the legal framework, as well as modern technology, this project will combine scientific methods from political science, jurisprudence, AI, and computer-supported cooperative work.

The insights of this project may prove to be crucial for a direct democracy like Switzerland, to foster democratic innovation and turn its citizens to even more active, AI-empowered participants in the democratic process—a goal which ultimately ensures democratic stability and our welfare.