John Licato receives USF award for Blackness and Anti-Black Racism Research Grant

September 16, 2020

CSE Assistant Professor John Licato receives award for anti-racism efforts at USF. Licato is Primary Investigator on a project titled "Argumentation Games to Cognitively Inoculate Against Anti-Black Bias,” with co-PI David Ponton from the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. 

The USF Research Task Force on Understanding and Addressing Blackness and Anti-Black Racism selected the project as one of the initiatives “designed to create deeper understanding of complex issues while forging solutions and productive community partnerships.” 

The project will study structured argumentation games (SAGs) as a means of inoculating against anti-Black racism. SAGs are dialogue-based games in which the interactions between participants are subject to highly controlled rules designed by artificially intelligent algorithms that can mitigate some of the damaging effects of unrestricted argumentative dialogues, such as what might occur on social media platforms. Similar games have demonstrated cognitive inoculation effects, whereby participants build resistance against misinformation. The project will explore whether SAGs have the potential to effectively reduce anti-Black bias.