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IBM AI Argues with Humans

Paul Rubens - June 19, 2018 - 07:45 AM
IBM AI Argues with Humans
Project Debater can deliver an argument with greater substance than many humans.

(CCM) — IBM has demonstrated artificial intelligence technology which can listen to humans and rebut their arguments in a debate.


Project Debater was shown off in San Francisco, debating with Noa Ovadia, Israel's 2016 national debating champion. It discussed whether there should be more publicly funded space exploration and whether more should be invested in telemedicine technologies. It was able to draw information from a data bank of carefully curated information sources picked by IBM researchers, according to a BBC report.

When Ovadia argued that there were more important things to spend public money on than space exploration, Project Debater rebutted this, saying: "It is very easy to say that there are more important things to spend money on, and I do not dispute this. No one is claiming that this is the only item on our expense list. But that is beside the point. As subsidising space exploration would clearly benefit society, I maintain that this is something the government should pursue."

Overall the consensus among those watching the debates was that the humans delivered their arguments better, but Project Debater offered greater substance in its arguments, according to the report. In the future an AI like Project Debater could be used to present coherent arguments for and against a topic so that a human could make a more informed and unbiased decision about it.

Image: © Daniel Kaesler - Shutterstock.com
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