Using AI to Inform Policymaking

Paper for the AI4Democracy series at The Center for the Governance of Change at IE University: “Good policymaking requires a multifaceted approach, incorporating diverse tools and processes to address the varied needs and expectations of constituents. The paper by Turan and McKenzie focuses on an LLM-based tool, “Talk to the City” (TttC), developed to facilitate collective decision-making by soliciting, analyzing, and organizing public opinion. This tool has been tested in three distinct applications:

1. Finding Shared Principles within Constituencies: Through large-scale citizen consultations, TttC helps identify common values and priorities.

2. Compiling Shared Experiences in Community Organizing: The tool aggregates and synthesizes the experiences of community members, providing a cohesive overview.

3. Action-Oriented Decision Making in Decentralized Governance: TttC supports decision-making processes in decentralized governance structures by providing actionable insights from diverse inputs.


LLMs, when applied to democratic decision-making, offer significant advantages:

  • Processing Large Volumes of Qualitative Inputs: LLMs can handle extensive qualitative data, summarizing discussions and identifying overarching themes with high accuracy.
  • Producing Aggregate Descriptions in Natural Language: The ability to generate clear, comprehensible summaries from complex data makes these tools invaluable for communicating nuanced topics.
  • Facilitating Understanding of Constituents’ Needs: By organizing public input, LLM tools help leaders gain a better understanding of their constituents’ needs and priorities.


The paper presents case studies using TttC, demonstrating its effectiveness in improving collective deliberation and decision-making. Key functionalities include:

  • Aggregating Responses and Clustering Ideas: TttC identifies common themes and divergences within a population’s opinions.
  • Interactive Interface for Exploration: The tool provides an interactive platform for exploring the diversity of opinions at both individual and group scales, revealing complexity, common ground, and polarization…(More)”