The Gadfly Project

For my masters project, I worked with a team of five people to create an automatic, extensible, question generation service. Why would I want to automatically generate questions from text, you ask?

The Problem

Well, imagine the following scenario:

A user sees a provocative news headline

Provocative News Headline

Instead of reading the article, the user decides to comment right away

Dumb Comment

The comment doesn’t add to the discussion and creates a thread of unrelated replies

A Solution, Perhaps?

So, what if we intervened at the right moment, with a simple question based on the article? A question that Nikhil would be able to answer easily if he had read the article?

The user is prompted to answer a question that is based on the article

Question Intervention

Paternalistic, you say?

Perhaps, but, less so than removing comment sections altogether as many publications have done.

This sounds great/terrible, where can I find out more?

You can try our demo at for the time being.

Our extensive report that includes all of our amazing research can be found here.

All of our code is on Github.

The best part about working on this project was the chance to work with my wonderful teammates, Andy Huang, Nikhil Mane, Daniel Griffin, and Anand Rajagopal.