Pol.is is a cloud-hosted SaaS that was conceived around the time of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring with the goal of “scaling up” the government’s ability to listen to its citizens.
The software relies on an innovative method for pinpointing areas of consensus. It works by creating a matrix from survey results and leveraging machine learning to make the data digestible through real-time visualizations (e.g. aggregation into opinion groups). From Participedia:
Pol.is is a survey technology where the user clicks “agree,” “disagree,” or “pass” in response to statements others have contributed. The user can also enter their own statement for others to take positions on. Pol.is clusters users who voted similarly into opinion groups using realtime machine learning (artificial intelligence), and visualizes those groups in real time. Polis visually defines and gives space to divergent opinion groups and breaks the community’s deadlock by identifying the points of consensus.
For additional details on the process, consult the video at the bottom of the homepage. Pol.is is particularly effective for getting better bottom up, open-ended feedback from large groups of people and hosting online discussions.
Pol.is is open source; the code can be found on GitHub. The software is being developed by Polis Technology, Inc. out of Seattle, WA (USA).