Conversational agents are today implemented in everyday life. These so-called chatbots are inter alia used for customer support or as newsbots in messenger applications. However, have you ever used chatbots to submit ideas for your local community planning projects or policy making procedures? The present work suggests a possible application of a chatbot as a facilitator to promote the process and documentation of citizens’ idea generation for direct and active citizen participation initiatives. Therefore, we conduct a design-science-research project and consider relevant literature as well as specialists’ knowledge from the field of citizen participation by conducting expert interviews to gather insights on relevant capabilities for chatbots to facilitate citizens. We present design principles (DP) which are based on identified meta-requirements, to deliver guidance for the design and implementation of suitable chatbots, which are capable of conversing with and facilitating citizens during the idea generation process. A dialog scenario based on the DPs serves to instantiate and develop a software-chatbot-prototype to conduct a user test and check the fulfillment of the DPs in our implemented solution of a chatbot. By doing so, we reveal the potential of automated facilitation and show one possible way to instantiate the design principles.
Tavanapour, Navid; Poser, Mathis; and Bittner, Eva A. C., (2019). "SUPPORTING THE IDEA GENERATION PROCESS IN CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - TOWARD AN INTERACTIVE SYSTEM WITH A CONVERSATIONAL AGENT AS FACILITATOR". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research Papers.