Over the past decade or so, a new interdisciplinary field has emerged in the ground between, on the one hand, computer science – and artificial intelligence in particular – and, on the other, the area of philosophy concentrating on the language and structure of argument.
There are now hundreds of researchers worldwide who would consider themselves a part of this nascent community. Various terms have been proposed for the area, including "Computational Dialectics," "Argumentation Technology," and "Argument-based Computing," but the term that has stuck is simply Argument & Computation. It encompasses several specific strands of research, such as:
. the use of theories of argument, and dialectic in particular, in the design and implementation of protocols for multi-agent action and communication;
. the application of theories of argument and rhetoric in natural language processing and affective computing;
. the use of argument-based structures for autonomous reasoning in artificial intelligence, and in particular, for defeasible reasoning;
. computer-supported collaborative argumentation – the implementation of software tools for enabling online argument in domains such as education and e-government.
These strands come together to form the core of a research field that covers parts of artificial intelligence (AI), philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science, but, increasingly, is building an identity of its own.