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PartComp: A Virtual Companion to Support Civic Participation

The Participation Companion (PartComp) is a digital assistance system, similar to a chatbot, that supports citizens individually in their participation activities and, like a companion, adapts collaboratively to their needs. Not only can participants ask the PartComp questions when they need help with their participation efforts. PartComp also becomes active on its own and, for example, suggests participation opportunities to its human partner or even functions as a virtual team member.

In the research project, the Chair of Information Management at TU Braunschweig is developing PartComp together with the Sandkasten project, which supports members of the TU Braunschweig in shaping their own campus life, and the Leibniz Science Campus Postdigital Participation. Drawing on the research paradigm of Design Science Research together with the methodological approach of Action Design Research, a Conversational Agent based on artificial intelligence technologies will be developed in a participatory, collaborative and human-centered way. In addition, the research project includes theoretical work on the motivation and goal-oriented support of participants in hybrid and purely digital participation scenarios. The project Sandkasten with its manifold sub-projects provides the application domain to test PartComp in a practical and iterative way.

Current information on the project can also be found here.