Mark K. Smith joins ARG-tech

Posted by Mark on March 13, 2020

We are delighted to welcome Mark K. Smith into the group as an Honorary Professor. Mark is CEO of ContactEngine, a company specialising in conversational AI. ARG-tech and ContactEngine have been collaborating for some time now exploring ideas underpinning Human Computer Rapport, an integrated way of handling conversational context. Mark’s appointment in recognition of his leadership and insight in AI R&D represents a ramping up in this collaboration which will see close working between the two teams.

ARG-tech at the Lords

Posted by chris on February 10, 2020

Chris was today giving evidence at the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI at the House of Lords. The focus of his contribution was on the reality of AI’s competence and the great distance that remains before AGI is imminent.

Staff changes

Posted by chris on February 3, 2020

The start of the year has seen some exciting staff changes in ARG-tech. We welcome Dimitra Zografistou, who joins us from FORTH to work on models of argument representation. Rory Duthie is finishing writing up his thesis and starting to work as a research assistant on connections between argumentation and hypotheses. And finally, John Lawrence and Jacky Visser have both been appointed to permanent lectureships in the group.

Exciting times!

New Argument Mining Survey in CL

Posted by chris on October 12, 2019

We’re delighted that our survey of the field of Argument Mining is just out with Computational Linguistics. It provides the most up-to-date review currently accessible and is available now online.

Abstract. Argument Mining is the automatic identification and extraction of the structure of inference and reasoning expressed as arguments presented in natural language. Understanding argumentative structure makes it possible to determine not only what positions people are adopting, but also why they hold the opinions they do, providing valuable insights in domains as diverse as financial market prediction and public relations. This paper explores the techniques that establish the foundations for argument mining, provides a review of recent advances in argument mining techniques, and discusses the challenges faced in automatically extracting a deeper understanding of reasoning expressed in language in general.

ARG-tech at Westminster

Posted by chris on June 16, 2019

On Monday 17th June, Chris is addressing the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee at Westminster at its monthly meeting which this month is dedicated to the theme of Fake News. He’ll be talking on what fake news isn’t as well as what it is — and the consequences for what can be done.

ACL2019 tutorial on Advances in Argument Mining

Posted by chris on May 17, 2019

Following our work delivering tutorials at IJCAI2016, ACL2016 and ESSLLI2017, Chris Reed and Katarzyna Budzynska are this year delivering a tutorial at ACL2019 in Florence on Sunday, 28 July.

We will be focusing on argument mining, and given that it is such a fast moving area, the way in which the field has been shaped by advances over the past three years.

The tutorial has its own dedicated website at

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the tutors — and we hope to see you in Florence in August.

Henrique Lopes Cardoso visiting

Posted by chris on May 1, 2019

Henrique Lopes Cardoso is visiting us this week from the University of Porto Dept of Informatics Engineering to develop our collaboration around argument mining. He today gave us a short introduction to the exciting work at Porto on argument mining and related themes and will be working over the coming ten days with IAT and our infrastructure, and meeting with members of the team.

ARG-tech secures new DSTL funding

Posted by chris on March 1, 2019

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been successful in a recent Defence and Security Accelerator programme run by the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory.

The way that an individual engages in dialogue is as unique to them as their fingerprint. So can we automatically identify individuals from their discourse behaviour? This is the idea now being implemented in our Dialogical Fingerprinting work with DSTL. Work starts today and preliminary results will be available for public release towards the end of the year.

Bonnie Webber visiting

Posted by chris on January 7, 2019

We’re delighted to welcome Bonnie Webber here today: she’ll be talking to us about her work on discourse annotation and the new PDTB amongst other things, and we’ll then be looking at connections between PDTB and IAT. If you’d like to join the discussion in East lab, just fire an email to