"Opinion Space will harness the power of connection technologies to provide a unique forum for international dialogue. This is...an opportunity to extend our engagement beyond the halls of government directly to the people of the world." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 2010

Developed at UC Berkeley, "Opinion Space" is a new social media technology designed to help communities generate and exchange ideas about important issues and policies. A version of Opinion Space is being used by the U.S. State Department, where it has attracted thousands of participants from around the world to organize, visualize, and analyze constructive suggestions on foreign policy. Opinion Space is a self-organizing system that uses an intuitive graphical "map" that displays patterns, trends, and insights as they emerge and employs the wisdom of crowds to identify and highlight the most insightful ideas. The system uses a game model that incorporates techniques from deliberative polling, collaborative filtering, and multidimensional visualization.

Versions of Opinion Space (also known as Collective Discovery Engine)

Active Projects:
Partner Discussion Topic Launch Date
UC Berkeley How Social Media can benefit primary and secondary education? 07/15/2012
Opinion Space 4.0
US State Department What are one or two specific new technologies or interfaces that could help governments around the world enhance open public dialogue? 02/25/2011
Opinion Space 3.0
Past Projects:
Partner Discussion Topic Launch Date
IEEE CASE How could the IEEE CASE Conference be enhanced to be more valuable to you and others who may not know about it? 08/06/2013
Opinion Space 4.0
Occupy Movement How might jobs and employment change over the next 20 years? What are specific steps organizations or individuals could take now to make this future more equitable and satisfying? 05/24/2013
Opinion Space 4.0
African Robotics Network In what specific ways could African ingenuity be engaged in designing and manufacturing a new class of affordable educational robots for high school students in Africa and beyond? 03/25/2013
Opinion Space 4.0
UC Berkeley Science Society Systems course What are elements that you would want to encourage or want to guard against in a group problem-solving or decision-making process? 03/25/2013
Opinion Space 4.0
UC Berkeley What question would you ask William Gibson and why? 08/16/2012
Opinion Space 4.0
US State Department How can the international community strengthen global efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation? 12/01/2009
Opinion Space 2.0
UC Berkeley Do you think legalizing marijuana is a good idea? 04/01/2009
Opinion Space 1.0

Image Gallery

Minimal Opinion Space
Opinion Space Learning
Fiat Lux Project
OS State 3.0
OS State 2.0
OS State 1.0


The Future of Employee Research: A Study about Employee Insight in the Digital Era. Michael Silverman, Milly Picton. HR Magazine. November 2013.

Distributed Spectral Dimensionality Reduction for Visualizing Textual Data. Sanjay Krishnan and Ken Goldberg. International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) Workshop on Spectral Learning Methods, Atlanta, GA, June 2013.

Using a Social Media Platform to Explore How Social Media Can Enhance Primary and Secondary Learning. Sanjay Krishan, Ken Goldberg, Yuko Okubo, Kanji Uchino. The Sixth Conference of MIT's Learning International Networks Consortium. June 2013

Social media and employee voice: the current landscape. Michael Silverman, Elmira Bakhshalian, Laura Hillman. CIPD Research Report on Sustainable Organization Performance. March 2013.

The Diversity Donut: Enabling Participant Control Over the Diversity of Recommended Responses. David Wong, Siamak Faridani, Ephrat Bitton, Bjoern Hartmann, Ken Goldberg. ACM International Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI). Vancouver, BC, Canada. May 2011.

Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments. Siamak Faridani, Ephrat Bitton, Kimiko Ryokai, Ken Goldberg. ACM International Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI). Atlanta, GA. April 2010.

A Spatial Model for Collaborative Filtering of Comments in an Online Discussion Forum. Ephrat Bitton. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems.2009.

Press about Opinion Space

US Department of State Blog (Dipnote): http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/opinionspace_global_digital_conversation
US. Department of State Announcement: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/03/138326.htm
Harvard Journalism Lab: http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/03/global-opinions-visualized-the-state-departments-opinion-space/#more-13891
Tech President Blog: http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/state-departments-brand-new-opinion-driven-global-data-visualization-thingy
CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6307886n&tag=api
UK Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/mar/18/opinion-space-state-department
Government Technology Times: http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/750825
Bay Citizen: http://www.baycitizen.org/columns/brainstorm/civility-algorithm/
ICT4Peace: http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/opinion-space-a-compelling-new-initiative-from-us-state-department/
Wired News: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/04/new-tool-shows/
SF Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?blogid=19&entry_id=38849
Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/1586879/us-state-department-cozies-up-to-social-media-and-infographics
Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/59390

Contact for more information

Ken Goldberg
Berkeley Automation Lab
IEOR and EECS, College of Engineering and School of Information
425 Sutardja Dai Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1758
(510) 643-9565, http://goldberg.berkeley.edu