Science

Watch an IBM AI Successfully Debate Humans

AI defeated famous chess masters and Go players, took over classic Atari games and can now hold its own in an actual debate.

IBM just introduced its “Project Debater” AI and demoed it at a San Francisco event, shocking viewers with the way artificial intelligence can now trade arguments with a human.

Project Debater talked with a human about space subsidies and telemedicine, quoting articles, making jokes and generally following the classical debate format: each participant has a four-minutepening followed by a rebuttal of the same length and a two-minute closing statement.

Here is what IBM had to say about this amazing breakthrough and what they hope to achieve with it:

“Like human debate experts, Project Debater can argue either side of an issue. It finds pros and cons based on the topic stance it’s given. So, when presented with a topic like “governments should regulate artificial intelligence,” it figures out which claims are for and which are against the statement. For example, if Project Debater is arguing for the topic motion, the claim “AI needs regulation to both protect individuals and accelerate adoption” would be classified as pro. And a claim like “heavy-handed regulation of AI by any country will stunt its AI progress” would be classified as con. Because it is a machine, Project Debater is impartial—it isn’t out to prove a position or to be “right.” It is designed to help expand minds and help people see more than one side of an issue.”

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Who knows, perhaps we’ll see Project Debater embedded in a personal assistant like Alexa – it would probably offer better arguments that a typical Facebook feud.

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