Crowdsourced Democracy

Ashish Goel, Larry Diamond 2015 - 2016

Crowdsourced Democracy

YouTube competes with Hollywood as an entertainment channel, and also supplements Hollywood by acting as a distribution mechanism. Twitter has a similar relationship to news media, and Coursera to Universities. But Washington has no such counterpart; there are no online alternatives for making democratic decisions at large scale as a society. As opposed to building consensus and compromise, public discussion boards often devolve into flame wars when dealing with contentious socio-political issues. This project aims to (a) Design systems that are geared towards structured discussion and consensus decisions, as opposed to towards a free-flowing conversation that degenerates into vitriol, (b) Develop an algorithmic and game-theoretic understanding of voting, decision, and incentive mechanisms, and (c) Deploy these systems in real-life crowdsourced democracy processes, and evaluate them rigorously.

Publications:
  • Fain, Brandon, Ashish Goel, and Kamesh Munagala. "Deliberation for Social Choice." October 2017. https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.00771
  • Fain B., Goel A., Munagala K. (2016) The Core of the Participatory Budgeting Problem. In: Cai Y., Vetta A. (eds) Web and Internet Economics. WINE 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10123. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • Goel, S., Krishnaswamy, A., & Sakshuwong, S. (2015). "Budget Aggregation via Knapsack Voting: Welfare-Maximization and Strategy-Proofness." Collective Intelligence. http://web.stanford.edu/~anilesh/publications/GoKrSu_budget.pdf
  • Goel, A. Decision-making at Scale: A Practical Perspective. Keynote, HCOMP 2016, 11/2016.
  • Goel, A., David, L. Towards Large-Scale Deliberative Decision-Making: Small Groups and the Importance of Triads. EC 2016, 7/2016. https://arxiv.org/abs/1605.08143

Researchers

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Ashish Goel

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Ashish Goel

Professor, Management Science and Engineering, and (by courtesy), Computer Science
Ashish Goel is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Computer Science at Stanford University. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California from 1999 to 2002. His research interests lie in the design, analysis, and applications of algorithms.
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Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Professor, by courtesy, of Sociology and of Political Science
Larry Diamond is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford, and Faculty Director of the Haas Center for Public Service. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, and also serves as Senior Consultant (and previously was co-director) at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. During 2002-3, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development.