Both sides of the coin

By | July 20, 2009

For those who are sick of claims and counter-claims, Intel researchers at Berkeley, California have developed a Firefox extension called “Dispute Finder“, which, if everything goes according to claims, can determine if a claim is bullshit or not. With Dispute Finder, you’ll have a way to tell people that they are, in fact, very, very stupid. Unless, of course, you are on the receiving end of such a compliment.

Dispute Finder forms part of a larger project at Intel called Confrontational Computing, which is described as follows on the Intel Research website:

Much of the information on the web consists of opinions, arguments, and beliefs. Examples include news articles, blog posts, message boards, and wikis. The Confrontational Computing project aims to understand how people argue on the web, and to develop tools that make it easier for people to do so.

Dispute Finder is the first tool to come out of that project and the video above takes you through an example of how the add-on works by highlighting sections of text. That text can then be researched further through additional provided links including alternative viewpoints. The user also has the power to influence what claims are disputed by marking or ignoring them.

Though Dispute Finder would seem to be a valuable tool, anyone with Firefox, a slack jaw and a few minutes to kill can inflict themselves upon the less gullible. In the event of disputes, please remain calm and do not use Twitter.

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